Matt Moulson interview

It’s two interviews for the prices of one today. Don talked to forward Matt Moulson, who made his debut with the Kings this season and totaled five goals and four assists in 22 games. Moulson also had 28 goals and 28 assists in 57 regular-season games with Manchester. Here’s a video of Moulson’s first goal, followed by his chat with Don…

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Alec Martinez interview


Don tracked down prospect Alec Martinez, a defenseman who signed a three-year entry-level contract with the Kings, for an interview. The Kings think highly of Martinez, who was a fourth-round draft pick out of Miami (Ohio) University last year. Martinez’s profile gives his college stats. Enjoy the interview…
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Prospect evaluation: Zatkoff

Here’s the last of the prospect evaluations. Thanks again to Don for tracking down all this information and doing such comprehensive reports…


Jeff Zatkoff
DOB – 6-9-87
Miami/Ohio (NCAA): 27-8-1, 1.72, .933

Zatkoff on his own play this year:

“From a statistical point of view I was very happy. I worked extremely hard at a few camps we had, working on my style and my stance and that helped me a lot in terms of this year just being bigger. I’m a butterfly goalie, but at the same time I don’t like to stay strictly butterfly. I like to watch the puck and use my athleticism.”

Development areas (from Hockey’s Future):

While Zatkoff does a good job of steering pucks away from the crease, his puck handling, particularly in controlling rebounds is an area that should improve with continued growth and development.

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Prospect evaluation: Simmonds

Wayne Simmonds
DOB – 8-26-88
Owen Sound (OHL)
– Regular season: 17 goals, 22 assists (39 points), 43 PIM
Sault Ste. Marie (OHL)
– Reg season: 16 goals, 20 assists (36 points), 68 PIM
– Post season: 5 goals, 9 assists (14 points), 32 PIM

Reporter Ben Leeson from The Sault Star on Simmonds:

“Simmonds is a tough player to contain because of his speed, strength and reach. He seems to maximize all three when he gets a little fierce and battles hard to get into scoring position and pursue rebounds. His wrist shot is hard and accurate and he uses it well even when driving off the wing under pressure from defenders. He’s strong on the puck and smart away from it. He excels when he has a centre who knows how to find him. His conditioning is superb. He never seems to tire much.”
“Wayne has an NHL frame, but at 175 pounds he could stand to pack on weight if he wants to make the most of it. Sometimes he needs to just let a shot go instead of looking for the nice play. He should be ready for the pro game next year. If he develops at the same rate he has been, I could see him becoming a 20- or 25-goal man at the NHL level.”

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Prospect evaluation: Rowat


Linden Rowat
DOB – 6-27-89
Regina (WHL)
– Reg season: 33-15-4, 2.68, .904
– Post season: 2-3, 3.17, .872

Regina Pats’ Coach Curtis Hunt on Linden Rowat:

“His maturity level was just unbelievable the last two years, and even beyond his numbers I think he has done a real good job of changing the things that were maybe a staple in his play, and is just more aggressive and patient. He is really good at reading the rushes and reading the play.”

“He’s got a tremendous work ethic, whether it be in games, practice or in his sessions with the goaltender coach, and he’s one of those kids that’s a quiet leader in our room as well.”

Development areas:

“He just needs to continue his learning in how to read the rush and understand the options on the rush for the opposing team, both with possession and with dump pucks. He needs to also continue to play with a predator mentality and be aggressive in the goal. You look at guys like Luongo who are big and when they get out of the net there is not a lot of twine to shoot at – we just want him to learn how to play aggressive all the time and trust his defensemen.”

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Prospect evaluation: Quick

Jonathan Quick
DOB – 1-21-86
Kings: 1-2, 3.84, .855
Reading (ECHL): 23-11-2, 2.79, .905
Manchester (AHL)
– Reg season: 11-8-0, 2.32, .922
– Post season: 0-1, 1.02, .974

Manchester coach Mark Morris on Jon Quick:

“I definitely think that he has had the full gamut of experiences. I think he was real fortunate to get all the minutes that he could in Reading and when he got the call to the NHL he performed admirably. It really has been quite a roller coaster that he has been on in terms of movement, but he was as good as they get for us. In his playoff game he did all he could to keep the game close and he gave us every opportunity to win that game.”

Development areas:

“He is an extremely competitive goaltender and he is so flexible and so acrobatic. Some of the body positions that he gets in and some of the ways that he finds to stop pucks is not normal. His compete level in practice is extremely high and if he just gets a little better positionally he won’t have to rely on his reflexes so much.”

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Prospect evaluation: Moller

Oscar Moller
DOB – 1-22-89
Chilliwack (WHL)
– Reg season: 39 goals, 43 assists (82 points), 42 PIM
– Post season: 2 goals, 1 assist
Manchester (AHL)
– Post season: 1 assist

McKeen’s on Oscar Moller:

“He’s an undersized, highly skilled prospect who plays a strong all-around game,” described one scout. “He’s good behind the puck, he’s good with the puck, he’s solid defensively. He’s got a great shot, probably his best attribute.” While he’s quite courageous for his size on most occasions, he can be a little inconsistent in his effort. “He’s not very big,” added another scout. “Sometimes he doesn’t come out with maximum energy level.” If Moller were two inches taller and had an extra gear, he’d be a surefire top-15 pick. “He is oozing with character and leadership qualities,” gushed one head scout after the scouting combine. “He lacks speed; otherwise he’s a top-end pick.” The one thing scouts just can’t overlook however is average speed in a small package, no matter how much character the player may have. Thus Moller may not be a top 30 pick, although he’s close given his skills and drive.

(Moller goals at 2:04 and 2:40)

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Prospect evaluation: Martinez

Alec Martinez
DOB – 7-26-87
Miami/Ohio (NCAA): 10 goals, 20 assists (30 points), 42 PIM (final 2008 stats)

Accolades: Named Central Collegiate Hockey Association’s Best Defensive Defenseman for 2008.

From Inside College

12/20/07: Martinez does it all — he’s an extremely reliable defender.

3/14/08: Martinez continually exudes a strong presence at both ends of the ice. The junior notched 26 points on seven goals and 19 assists, all while maintaining a gaudy +26 plus-minus rating that many blueliners sacrifice in exchange for those kind of offensive numbers.

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Prospect evaluation: Holloway

Bud Holloway
DOB – 3-1-88
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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Prospect evaluation: Hickey

Thomas Hickey
DOB – 2-8-89
Seattle (WHL)
– Reg season: 11 goals, 34 assists (45 points), 49 PIM
– Post season: 1 goal, 9 assists

Seattle Coach Rob Sumner on Thomas Hickey:

“He was a year older, and physically he could really battle. The physically maturity helped him round-out his game. I think it has improved his shot. His skating ability and his shot are strong aspects of his game.”

Leadership: “He’s our captain, and as an 18-year-old player, that is rare in our league. Usually that is for 19 or 20-year-olds. He really go into the leadership mix at 16 because he was such a good player and logged so much ice time as a young player that he was a leader among that young group and respected by the older guys. He formally got in to the leadership mix at 17 when I put an ‘A on his sweater, and that was very young, but he was ready for it. He is mature beyond his years.”

Development areas:

“He dominates at our level against the young guys, but looking ahead to the NHL, there are very, very strong men at that level and he’s going to have to take another step strength and physical development-wise. And I think his shot has improved, but I think the next step is to create more strength on the shot as well.”

NHL next season?

“I know the guy and how competitive he is and how he comes to play and impact games, so I would certainly never count Thomas out. I think the world of Thomas and believe he is going to be a great NHL player.”

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