The Kings rimmed their roster by three more Monday, sending centers Nic Dowd and Nick Shore and defenseman Vincent LoVerde to their American Hockey League team in Manchester, N.H. The Kings have 29 players remaining on their roster.
The Kings lost both split-squad games Sunday night to the Phoenix Coyotes. The Staples Center squad fell 5-1 and the Glendale, Ariz., lineup lost 4-2. Here are three things to take away from the Kings’ first exhibitions of 2013-14:
The Kings rookies defeated their Ducks counterparts 3-2 on Monday in El Segundo, taking a hard-hitting victory in the second of two games over their rivals. Here’s what stood out most of all in a well-played and very well-attended game:
Second, there aren’t too many job openings on the Kings’ roster this season (as in, maybe none) and it’s likely many of their rookies are years away from being ready to play in the NHL but there were several players who looked sharp. Jordan Weal was one. Nick Shore was another. Alex Roach was a third. An old scout told me you look for players who make things happen during a game. Those three were active participants, rather than observers during Monday’s game. The puck seemed to follow them around the ice.
Christopher Gibson, a goaltender from the Chicoutimi Sagueneens of the QMJHL, became the Kings’ first pick at the Entry Draft Saturday, going 49th overall in the second round.
Gibson has an interesting background: His father Peter Gibson, a martial arts instructor, was born in England. His mother, Ulla Perttilahti, is Finnish. Gibson grew up in Karkkila, Finland, but at age 15 left for North America to play hockey.
In his second major junior season, Gibson fnished first in the QMJHL with a .920 save percentage and second with a 2.42 goals-against average last season. In four playoff games, those numbers dipped to .865 and 5.20, but he was good enough to become the third goalie drafted this year (Magnus Hellberg went to Nashville at #38 and John Gibson went to Anaheim at #39).
The Kings used their final five picks to select center Andy Andreoff (third round, 80th overall), left wing Nick Shore (third round, 82nd overall), left wing Michael Mersch (fourth round, 110th overall), left wing Joel Lowry (fifth round, 140th overall) and left wing Michael Schumacher (seventh round, 200th overall).