Bud Holloway signs in Sweden.

The Manchester Monarchs will have a new leading scorer next season.

Skilled right wing Bud Holloway has signed with Skellefte AIK of the Swedish Elite League for 2011-12. The restricted free agent declined the Kings’ qualifying offer, at least temporarily ending his tenure with the team that drafted him in the third round of the 2006 draft.

Both this season (28+33=61) and last (19+28-47), Holloway led the Kings’ American Hockey League affiliate in scoring. He helped the Monarchs reach the Eastern Conference Final series in 2010, tying an AHL record with six game-winning goals in a single postseason (out of the seven goals he scored).

But in three pro seasons, the 23-year-old from Wapella, Saskatchewan never got the NHL call-up he desired. He joins Corey Elkins and Oscar Moller on a short list of Kings prospects who have left for Europe this summer.

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Notes on Yutaka Fukufuji, Manchester Monarchs.

The most famous Japanese hockey player in Kings history – more accurately, the only Japanese hockey player in NHL history -was in the news again today.

Yutaka Fukufuji made 47 saves but took the loss as host nation Kazakhstan defeated Japan 4-1 in the gold-medal game at the Asian Winter Games. Fukufuji, who appeared in four games for the Kings in 2006-07, was named Best Goalkeeper of the tournament by the Tournament Directorate. The 28-year-old left North America two years ago and currently plays in the Asian League, according to Wikipedia.

A few notes from the Manchester Monarchs, the Kings’ AHL affiliate:

Scoring his third goal in as many games Friday evening, defenseman Viatcheslav Voynov (12-25=37) holds sole possession of first place on the Monarchs with 37 points.
Voynov also leads American Hockey League defenseman with 37 points on the season and is tied for the lead among AHL blueliners with six power-play goals to his credit.

LW Bud Holloway recorded an assist as well as his team-leading 16th goal of the season in Saturday’s 4-0 blanking of the Albany Devils. He has 36 points (16-20=36) in 51 games to place second on the Monarchs in points. Holloway also assisted on the game-winning goal and added a power play goal of his own as insurance in Saturday’s contest against Albany.

Martin Jones stopped all 26 shots he faced to pick up his third shutout of the season against Albany. Jeff Zatkoff missed the game with an undisclosed illness. A night earlier, Jones absorbed a 4-3 shootout loss against the Worcester Sharks.

The Monarchs (31-16-1-4) have a tenuous two-point lead on Portland (30-15-4-1) in the Atlantic Division; Portland has two games in hand. Things could change in a hurry this week: Manchester plays four games in five days, all at home, beginning Wednesday.

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Prospect evaluation: Holloway

Bud Holloway
Forward
DOB – 3-1-88
Stats:
Seattle (WHL)
- Reg season: 43 goals, 40 assists (83 points), 55 PIM
- Post season: 5 goals, 5 assists

Seattle coach Rob Sumner on Bud Holloway

“Bud has great offensive numbers, but he is a very well-rounded player. He scores goals so that captures attention as it should, but he is very responsible and understands the defensive side of the game.”

“Bud has taken the next step strength and confidence-wise, and he expects to impact every game, and he does. He’s got an unbelievable shot, and he is a very good and fast skater. He’s got great hands too, down low, in tight, he can play a physical, aggressive, down low, hard-to-play-against, protecting the puck type game. He’s got the skills to make one-on-one skills to beat you. He’s not one dimensional.”

Development areas:

“I don’t think Bud has glaring weaknesses. Going from playing against young men or kids at the junior level to playing against men who do it for a living, it is really about strength. Some of it will be physical, and a lot of it will be mental development.”

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