Monday, December 26, 2011

Three LA Kings prospects featured in two TV games today

The World Junior Championship kicks off today in Alberta, Canada. For those unfamiliar, it's the top tournament on the planet featuring under-20 year old hockey players. Last year, Russia came back from a several goal deficit in the third period to top Canada for the gold medal. And Team USA defeated Sweden 4-2 for the bronze medal.

While many of the Kings current roster has participated in past tournaments - including Drew Doughty, Jack Johnson and Mike Richards - it was some of their top prospects who won gold, silver and bronze medals at the WJC.

Brayden Schenn of Team Canada was traded to Philadelphia over the summer for Richards. Maxim Kitsyn is back home playing in Russia. Yet, Derek Forbort of Team USA has returned for a second year.

Here's a quick overview of the three LA Kings prospects in this year's tournament...

USA - Derek Forbort, defenseman, University of North Dakota, first round selection 2010 NHL Draft

USA - Kevin Gravel, defenseman, St. Cloud St. University, fifth round selection 2010 NHL Draft

Finland - Christopher Gibson, Chicoutimi Sagueneens (QMJHL), second round selection 2011 NHL Draft

The notable name missing is Tyler Toffoli, who for the second year in a row was snubbed by Team Canada. It's a shocking move and one that doesn't make much sense considering the kid led all players in his age group in goals last season and is on pace to do it again this year. Toffoli, the Kings second round selection 2010 NHL Draft, will finish out the season with the OHL's Ottawa 67's instead.

Little side note on Team USA - Jason Zucker was named the captain, while Emerson Etem and Jarred Tinordi will serve as alternate captains. Etem is originally from Long Beach and was a Ducks first round draft pick at the 2010 NHL Draft held in LA. Tinordi is the son of former NHL defenseman Mark Tinordi.

Canada vs Finland will be shown on the NHL Network beginning at 12:30 PST. Then, later tonight, you can watch USA vs. Denmark at 5pm PST.

MayorsManor will have ongoing coverage of the WJC over the next two weeks. For now, check out some of the stories and interviews from last year, linked below for your reference.

The Mayor


Exclusive:  Tyler Toffoli on his Team Canada camp experience

Guest Author:  Defenseman Kevin Gravel's Team USA camp journal

2011 World Junior Championship recap - notes on Kings prospects Kitsyn, Schenn, etc.

Warming up for the World Juniors with Kyle Clifford - summer 2010

WJC Memories with Captain Canada

New Year's Eve 2009 - Jeremy Roenick previews USA vs Canada at WJC

Team USA Report with Jack Johnson

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1 comment:

  1. Yes, but does it really matter? Whoopie, 2 defenders and a goalie. Top offensive prospect Tyler Toffoli graded at "A+" who dropped to the 2nd round wasn't even given a spot on Team Canada despite having 30g 24a 54pts in 31 games for Ottawa 67's this season. The Kings traded up to get Derek Forbort a 6ft 5in defenseman, who is projected to be a two way defenseman will be playing for team USA. While, I am sure the Kings have a need for a Forbort, it might have been better if they chose Jared Tinordi a 6ft 5in defenseman who is a big hitter, something the Kings lack also playing for team USA. MTL took Tinordi at #22. Then there this is Emerson Etem from Long Beach, who plays for Medicine Hat in the WHL. Etem is a forward with speed, which is something the Kings need to address, was still available for the Kings. Etem the #29 pick of Anaheim in the 2010 draft will be playing for Team USA. Right now Etem has 30g 31 a in 34 games. Etem has a knack for scoring goals, plays a powerful game, has one of the best releases of the 2010 entry draft, and has a hard and accurate shot from anywhere on the ice. "You can teach skating,"" but you cannot teach offensive instinct." Etem is projected to be very similar to Evander Kane.
    The Kings need another defenseman prospect like they need another goalie prospect. Oh wait, the Kings without a 1st round pick, made their 1st pick in the 2nd round Christopher Gibson a goalie. I'm sorry but the previous drafts, and this current draft, the Kings have been drafting small forwards, and big defenseman. Lombardi and the scouts, along with the drafts picks seem like deja vu all over again. Murray fired, Sutter hired, history never repeats. Kings have lots of assets, but are going to have to use them to add missing pieces.