Freeway Series: L.A. Kings re-assign defenseman Derek Forbort to Manchester

The Kings assigned defenseman Derek Forbort to their American Hockey League team in Manchester, N.H., on Friday. Forbort did not play in a game for the Kings, but was used in case of emergency, what with Alec Martinez sidelined indefinitely by a concussion and Slava Voynov suspended indefinitely by the NHL because of a domestic violence charge.

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L.A. Kings recall defenseman Derek Forbort from Manchester

Defenseman Derek Forbort was supposed to join the Kings in time for Monday’s game against the Blue Jackets, and perhaps make his NHL debut in place of an ill Robyn Regehr. Instead, Forbort spent part of his day sitting on an airplane on the tarmac at Logan Airport in Boston.

Forbort watched the snow fall and fall and fall some more. The plane returned to the gate after 90 minutes and his flight was canceled. Instead of skating with the Kings, Forbort returned reluctantly by taxi to Manchester, N.H., home of their American Hockey League team.

“I was about to drive (to Columbus),” he joked.

Forbort finally joined the Kings on Wednesday, recalled from Manchester. There was no snow in El Segundo as the temperature soared past 80 degrees. Forbort said he wore jeans and a long-sleeved T-Shirt and felt “overdressed” because of the warm weather.

The Kings summoned Forbort because their defense corps is depleted. Alec Martinez has a concussion, Robyn Regehr has a lingering illness and Slava Voynov continues to serve an indefinite NHL suspension stemming from a domestic violence charge. Voynov’s trial is set for March 2.

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Kings sign defenseman Derek Forbort

The Kings on Friday signed defenseman Derek Forbort of the University of North Dakota to a three-year entry-level contract. The 21-year-old Forbort was the Kings’ first-round pick (15th overall) in 2010 draft. He had four goals and 13 assists plus 22 penalty minutes in 42 games this past season for North Dakota, his third collegiate campaign. He is 6-foot-5 and 207 pounds, which makes him an intriguing prospect

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Forbort, Gravel make USA Hockey National Junior Evaluation Camp roster.

Kings prospects Derek Forbort and Kevin Gravel were among the 40 players chosen by USA Hockey to take part in the National Junior Evaluation Camp this August in Lake Placid, N.Y.

The players will be auditioning for a spot on the U.S. National Junior Team that will take part in the 2012 IIHF World Junior Championship, Dec. 26, 2011-Jan. 5, 2012, in Calgary and Edmonton, Alta.

Forbort, a defenseman for the University of North Dakota, helped the U.S. capture bronze at the 2010 WJC tournament in Buffalo, N.Y. The 15th overall pick at the 2010 draft, Forbort finished his collegiate season with 15 assists and 26 penalty minutes in 38 games.

Gravel, a defenseman for St. Cloud State, had one goal, six points, and four penalty minutes in 36 games last season for the Huskies.

Other local players named to the evaluation camp were Boston University forward Matt Nieto (Long Beach), Kelowna Rockets forward Shane McColgan (Manhattan Beach), U.S. Under-18 National Development Team forward Rocco Grimaldi (Rossmoor), and Western Michigan forward Chase Balisy (Rancho Santa Margarita).

The complete U.S. roster can be found here.

Here’s the tentative schedule of events for the evaluation camp:
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