Saturday, September 10, 2011

Rookie Watch: LA Kings

Each Day until September 15th TPS will take a look at one team from the East and one team from the West and spotlight a few rookies to watch for this season. Today in the West it’s the LA Kings.

The guy most people expected to make a rookie impact this year for the Kings is no longer with the team after they dealt Brayden Schenn to Philadelphia at the NHL draft. Kyle Clifford did make a rookie impact in LA last year with his size and physical play, but seemed to wear down as the season went on.

Next in line is Andrei Loktionov who simply needs to avoid the injury bug to make the team. In 2010 he suffered a season ending injury during his NHL debut. Last year his year ended in February while playing in the AHL. Before he went down though he did put up 7 points in 19 NHL games. The way he thinks the game, he should be in for a longer stay this time around. Word his he bulked up in the off season, hopefully to avoid past injuries.

Also keep an eye out for Brandon Kozun to make a few cameos in Hollywood. The former Calgary Hitmen is small, but is full of heart, hustle and high-lite reel goals. After back to back 100+ point seasons in junior he had a respectable 48 points in 71 games with Manchester last season. The Kings have a veteran laden blueline or else Thomas Hickey or Slava Voynov would be rookie candidates as well.

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