Camp thoughts

Here are a few of the prospects and newcomers who are making an impact so far in camp:

Andrew Campbell: You might remember that the Kings traded up to grab this unheralded defenseman in the third round, and they don’t regret it. He has good size and has shown good hockey instincts. They like him and he could make the Manchester roster.

Richard Clune: A feisty player who has drawn more than one comparison to Sean Avery, as far as the way he plays the game. A good darkhorse candidate to make the team?

Drew Doughty: He has continued his strong play from the rookie camp. He’s done nothing to indicate that he shouldn’t be on the NHL roster when camp breaks.

Matt Greene: Good size and aggressiveness. It looks as though he will be Jack Johnson’s new partner.

Andrei Loktionov: The Kings are trying to decide whether to send him to juniors or to Manchester. He had an outstanding one-time goal during the first scrimmage today.

Oscar Moller: Just a consistently good young player. At this point, it wouldn’t be a total shock to see him make the NHL roster

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  • Quisp

    It’s interesting to speculate what the roster would look like with either or both of Moller or Clune making the cut.

    My previous guess at the opening night forwards:

    Brown/Kopitar/POS
    Purcell/Stoll/Frolov
    Moulson/Boyle/Richardson
    Calder/Handzus/Ellis
    Ivanans and Armstrong

    Clune could bump Moulson, Richardson, Ellis, Calder or Armstrong. Moulson and RIchardson have offensive upside. Ellis, I would be surprised if he didn’t impress Terry Murray (hard work, fiesty, defensive, etc.). Calder, he’s got that contract and a lot to prove. Armstrong…once again, I think he’s in danger of being the odd man out.

    Moller is a top-six type, could bump Purcell (which would be kind of shocking), Moulson, Richardson. I don’t see him doing (this year) the grinding thing that Ellis or Calder can do.

    I would really like to know your thoughts on how Purcell, Moulson, Richardson, Ellis, Calder and Armstrong are looking.

    I can easily imagine a fourth line of Clune/Handzus/Ellis. If POS stays out, I can imagine (if only in my dreams) a line of Brown/Kopitar/Moller, or Purcell/Stoll/Moller (with a line #1 of Brown/Kopitar/Frolov), or Moulson/Boyle/Moller.

    I would also like to point out, in the eventuality that Moller and Clune are “keepers,” these were products of two trades with Dallas, Moller in the Nordstrom deal and Clune for Lauri Tukonen. And Dallas has nothing to show for either of those trades. Oh, Pushkarev.

  • D0wntime

    i thought that a player could not go to the minors if they are under 21. thats why bernier went back to the minors last season. if that is indeed the case then its either the nhl or the juniors for campbell, loktionov, and moller.

  • Tim

    just a quick note. I was at the practice on Sat, and watched both scrimages. From that what sticks in my mine the most was how well Molson/Stoll/Purcell played together. At one point they were moving the puck around down deep in the zone and working well with Pressing and Martinez. They kept the puck in the zone for what seem a good min +. It was the best puck movement I’ve seen by the Kings in a long time! They are a little young but might workout well on the #2 line.

    I might be cool to see fro up with Kopi/brown until POS signs.

    It was also to see the Doughty in action. When he wants to play, he can bring it!

    Joe Piskula, showed not only a good shot, but nice hands. He was awarded a “live” penalty shot and roofed a backhand over Bernier’s glove hand.

    Boyle is going to be a great player. I would love to see him on the 1st line right now to take POS spot.

    What was really disappointing to see was that Zeus didn’t win a lot of faceoffs. That was a little alarming..

    Hickey looks like he needs more time. Not ready for us just yet. The talent is there.

    Lab’s looked good… In great position and quick. Yes LABS!

    Loktionov… wow this kids going to be something special!

    Just a few comments of my own

  • deadcatcbounce

    Tim, what were your impressions of Wayne Simmons? I thought he impressed last training camp and the kid’s got a bit of a mean streak, too. Did he stand out at all?

  • Tim

    To be honest with you, I was really focusing on the dmen (doughty, JJ, Greene, Gauthier and others…) and I didn’t see any thing that made me remember him. The only thing that I do remember about him is after they were done practicing he was headed in to the weight room, and I noticed that he was a lot smaller than I thought he was.

    I think that he’s going to need to put some muscle mass on to help him out in the way he plays the game. I watched the phx game on line, and I thought he was the best player out there.

    Just a gut feeling he’ll be in down in the A one more year.

  • HCKYJOC

    Downtime-

    I believe the age is 20 or 4 years in juniors to become AHL/ECHL eligible not 21. Campbell has both and I think is too old to go back to juniors. Moller turns 20 this season (don’t quote me) so perhaps that’s why he qualifies. Lotkionov is an entirely differnt case for a couple of reasons that I’m not entirely sure about. Essentially, because he’s Russian, and not Canadian, the CHL (junior) rules don’t apply to him. He has been drafted by a CHL team so the Kings have a couple of options. Like Bernier, they could keep him with the club for 10 games and return him to his junior team thus saving the first year of his entry level contract. They could send him to Manchester since the Junior/Professional agreement doesn’t apply to him though it would be at the cost of his first year. Or they could keep him with the Kings under the same circumstances (or send him back and forth depending on need). His extenuating circumstances however apply to the current NHL/Russian (KHL) disputed transfer agreement which appears to be headed to arbitration. The Russians are arguing that he (and incidenatlly Voynov) are signed to KHL contracts and therefore the NHL is not allowed to sign him. Rich has much more information about this dispute in previous blogs. I’m not sure which, juniors or AHL would be best for him in the conflict until it’s settled but if he continues to impress, is suspect the conflict will come even more to the forefront. Sorry I don’t have more details about the age restrictions than my vague recollections.

  • JD A

    Deadcatcbounce & Tim,
    I was also at both of the scrimmages on Saturday and found them to be very interesting. Tim gave a good analysis of some of the guys, but I believe that Hickey showed he is a lot closer to be ready than Tim thinks. Also, I too thought Loktionov is going to be incredible. He pulled out a couple of great moves against some of our NHLers and seemed as if he would be a perfect fit for the big club with just a little more experience. I would be surprised if he doesn’t have a very good to excellent shot at making it next year. Also, it was difficult to see as I was on the other side of the ice, but Bernier looked a little shakey. It was hard to tell what kind of defensive coverage he was getting but he also missed (if I’m not mistaken) all of the one on one breakouts against him, and let in something like 5 goals during his one period of play.
    Although my biggest dissapointment, which doesn’t surprise me at all, was Handzus and his all around terrible play. As Tim said, he couldn’t win face offs and continued his lazy / could care less skating from last season. The one decent play he made was a one on one penalty breakout goal he scored. This is still DL’s worst move and sadly I don’t think it is going to go away as soon as I would like.
    All around, it was great to see all of the young kids in action. It makes me extremely happy and anxious to see what the future holds for our beloved Kings. Hope to see you all at the preseason games. Go Kings!!!

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