Our good friend Don Fulton took the time to put together this report on some of the Kings’ top prospects in the minors and juniors. It’s a real comprehensive look and I thought everyone would enjoy it. Thanks Don!
Jonathan Bernier (Goalie): The Kings’ first round pick (11th overall) in the 2006 draft, Bernier, 19, is currently with the Lewiston MAINEiacs of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League where he has posted an 18-14 record, with a goals against of 2.75 and save percentage of .907. Bernier was recently named the QMJHL’s defensive player of the week. In three starts, Bernier was 2-1, posting a 1.34 GAA and .955 SV% while facing nearly 30 shots per game. Bernier stopped 27 shots in a 3-1 victory over St. Johns on Sunday, and yesterday he made 31 saves in Lewiston’s 3-2 win over Halifax.
Brian Boyle (Forward): The Kings selected the 23-year-old Boyle with the 26th pick in the 2003 draft. Viewed by most as an interesting project with potential upside, the organization experimented with the 6-foot-7 forward on defense with their American Hockey League affiliate Manchester Monarchs this season, then just as quickly abandoned the idea and returned him to his natural spot up front on offense. The payoff has been encouraging, as Boyle has 23 goals and 49 points in 57 games with the Monarchs this season, and impressed everyone in his brief time with the Kings in February, netting four goals in eight games before returning to Manchester for the team’s playoff run.
Thomas Hickey (Defenseman): The Kings’ surprise first round selection in last year’s draft (4th overall), Hickey, 19, is currently playing with the Seattle Thunderbirds of the Western Hockey League where he has 11 goals and 33 assists in 62 games played. Drafted as much for his leadership qualities as his defensive skills, Hickey is the Thunderbirds’ team captain and also skated a regular shift for gold medal-winning Team Canada at this year’s World Junior Hockey Championship in January.
Trevor Lewis (Forward): Lewis was a first round selection (17th overall) in the 2006 draft, the pick acquired along with Patrick O’Sullivan in the Pavol Demitra trade with the Minnesota Wild. A late-season call-up for Manchester last year (after compiling 29 goals and 73 points in his first season in the Ontario Hockey League), Lewis has eight goals and 21 points in 60 games with the Monarchs this season. The 21-year-old American is known as a play-maker with excellent instincts, decent speed, and is utilized by the Monarchs on the penalty kill. Lewis returned to the Monarchs’ lineup is yesterday’s 3-1 victory over Springfield after being a healthy scratch in the previous two games.
Oscar Moller (Forward) – Taken in the second round of the 2007 draft and 52nd overall, the 19-year-old Moller got off to a blazing hot start for the Chilliwack Bruins of the WHL this season and currently has 39 goals and 40 assists in 61 games. He has seven games in which he has scored at least two goals and 24 multiple-point games for the Bruins.
Ted Purcell (Forward): Currently playing for Manchester after signing an entry level contract with the Kings, Purcell, 22, was one of the more sought-after non-drafted players following his lone college season with the University of Maine which saw him net 16 goals and 43 points for the Black Bears. Purcell currently leads the Monarchs in points with 64 (17+47), and had a goal and assist in last night’s win over Springfield, which extended his point scoring streak to five games.
Jonathan Quick (Goalie): The 22-year old netminder was the 72nd overall selection taken in the 2005 draft, and is currently seeing duty in net for Manchester following a brief call-up with the Kings and a half season with the Reading Royals of the East Coast Hockey League. With Reading, Quick was 23-11-3 with a 2.79 goals against and .905 save percentage. In nine games with the Monarchs, Quick has four wins, including last night’s 22-save performance in the team’s 3-1 win over Springfield.
Wayne Simmonds (Forward): Simmonds, a second round selection in last year’s draft and #61 overall is currently with the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds of the Ontario Hockey League following a December trade with the Owen Sound Attack. His season essentially split between the two OHL teams, Simmonds, a 6-foot-2, 175-lbs winger has 31 goals and 38 assists in 58 games, and will see post season action with the Hounds, who have clinched a playoff spot. Simmonds, 19, has already endeared himself to Kings fans for his willingness to drop the gloves, including a memorable September preseason scrap against former Anaheim Duck Shane Hnidy.