The LA Kings rookies skated on the Toyota Sports activities Efficiency Heart ice this morning previous to leaving for the 2022 Rookie Faceoff in San Jose.
The Rookie Faceoff offers us a singular alternative to see how the Kings prospects skate collectively as a bunch in opposition to opposing groups’ prospects of comparable age and caliber. In the present day’s follow gave us a slight indication of what we’d see from the Kings’ lineup this weekend in Silicon Valley.
The Kings start play Friday at 2 pm in opposition to the rookies from the Colorado Avalanche, who deliver a handful of returning prospects to the occasion. The Kings may even meet the Vegas Golden Knights on Saturday and the San Jose Sharks on Monday.
In the present day’s follow was the primary time the Kings’ rookies had skated collectively as a bunch, so there have been no customary line rushes. Traces and pairings appeared to shuffle all through the morning, however the next teams skated collectively on a number of shifts in the course of the managed scrimmage portion of follow.
Alarie – Fiddler-Schultz – Stefan
The defensive pairings appeared to vary extra usually than the ahead traces, however left and proper defensemen tended to stay on their pure sides.
There have been three goaltenders on the ice this morning (Matt Villalta, Jacob Ingham, and David Hrenak) however solely two will play for the Kings this weekend. Villalta, who was a late addition to the Rookie Faceoff roster final 12 months, isn’t on this 12 months’s roster however will function a follow goalie this week. That leaves Ingham, who’s starting his third skilled season, and Hrenak, who made a late-season AHL debut after his fifth NCAA season at St. Cloud State, to separate the three video games in San Jose.
In the present day’s follow ended with a fast expertise competitors, as Hrenak and Ingham dueled in a shootout from reverse ends of the ice. 4 gamers (Byfield, Madden, Grans and Clarke) every took two pictures, one at every web. The one participant to attain on each goaltenders was… you guessed it! Defenseman, Brandt Clarke.
Martin Chromiak confirmed off his shot with a number of targets as we speak at TSPC. He appears to deliver just a little extra firepower each time he walks into the constructing. He appeared in all three video games on the 2021 Rookie Faceoff final 12 months and led the crew with 4 factors.
“It was a lot tougher and quicker right here [last year], so I will should get used to it once more,” Chromiak mentioned. “I performed in juniors final 12 months so I’ve to get used to it once more to get quicker and extra bodily.”
Ontario Reign Head Coach Marco Sturm, who will lead the Kings rookies behind the bench this weekend, has taken be aware of the affect Chromiak might have this weekend and past, as he’s anticipated to show professional this season.
“He is a very, actually good participant and he can put the puck within the web, that is for certain,” Sturm mentioned. “I am excited that he’ll keep right here with us all 12 months lengthy as a result of he may be a man sooner or later.”
Chromiak is coming off a spectacular last season within the OHL, the place he recorded 86 factors in 60 video games and spent many of the season on a line with 2022 fourth total decide Shane Wright.
The Kings roster for this season’s Rookie Faceoff options 13 gamers who appeared for AHL Ontario in the course of the 2021-22 season. Quinton Byfield and Jordan Spence, who’re included in that quantity, additionally mixed for 64 NHL video games final season with the LA Kings.
Not included within the 13 is the 2020 fifth-rounder Chromiak, who spent all of final season enjoying within the OHL with the Kingston Frontenacs. Nonetheless, he did seem for a short two-game stint with the Reign in 2021, the shortened season performed behind closed doorways at TSPC.
As famous above, Chromiak spent most of follow on a line with Akil Thomas, who caught fireplace within the AHL late final season. Quinton Byfield and Tyler Madden additionally spent a lot of as we speak’s follow on the identical line after showing collectively for a stint final 12 months in Ontario.
On the again finish, Kim Nousiainen and Jordan Spence gave us a glimpse at what could possibly be a fast and flashy D-pairing for the weekend and possibly sooner or later. Nousiainen, a former fourth-round choice in 2019, concluded his 2022 marketing campaign with the Reign after showing in 35 skilled video games in Finland.
Ahead Alex Turcotte isn’t included right here, as the previous fifth total draft decide didn’t skate this morning and won’t be making the journey to San Jose this week.
“[Turcotte] won’t journey however he is doing good. I feel he has a number of extra exams arising right here with completely different docs. As of proper now, he’s not cleared. We would like him wholesome and he is been via lots up to now. We need to take our time and when the physician says he is able to go, then he’s. We simply should be just a little bit affected person.”
Ten gamers from final season’s Rookie Faceoff roster return this season. Madden, Pinelli, Chromiak, Byfield, Spence, Grans and Ingham are the returners who had been drafted by the Kings. Brett Kemp, Landon Kosior, and Cameron Supryka are returning invitees. These gamers helped lead a Kings crew to 2 wins in three video games in Arizona, together with a 4-0 thrashing of the Avalanche, who they will meet once more to start out this 12 months’s showcase.
Brandt Clarke, the Kings’ eighth total decide in 2021, was on final 12 months’s roster however did not make the journey as a consequence of an sickness. Turcotte participated final 12 months in Arizona, however as beforehand talked about, he’s not anticipated to play this weekend in San Jose regardless of showing on the preliminary roster.
Lastly, hear extra from Marco Sturm after as we speak’s follow.
We’ll have one other characteristic story forward of the rookie occasion posted right here on LAKI later this afternoon and our protection will proceed right here all through the week. The Kings rookies open play on Friday afternoon at 2 pm in opposition to the Colorado Avalanche on the model new TechCU Enviornment, the brand new residence of the AHL’s San Jose Barracuda.