While the Kings and nearly all of the Western Conference teams are still fighting for their playoff lives in the NHL, this weekend marked the beginning of post season play for the Canadian (Junior) Hockey League and the NCAA.
As noted last week, all of the Kings top prospects – with one exception, Jordan Weal (who is now in Manchester) – had qualified for the ‘second season.’ Here’s an overview of where things stand…
Brayden Schenn – his Saskatoon Blades entered the weekend as the #1 seed in the WHL and won both of their opening round games over the Prince Albert Raiders. Schenn had a goal in the first game and a pair of goals in the second. The series resumes Wednesday in P.A. Schenn stopped by MayorsManor last week, the article is available here.
Linden Vey – the 2011 WHL Scoring Champion picked up a goal in each of the first two games for his Medicine Hat Tigers. However, their series with the Brandon Wheat Kings is tied 1-1. Game three will be tonight in Brandon. Vey was a guest on MayorsManor last week, the article is available here.
Tyler Toffoli – the 2011 OHL Scoring Champion had a big game in the opening contest of the series between his Ottawa 67’s and the Sudbury Wolves (2 goals, 2 assists). Unfortunately, the 67’s lost the first game in OT by a score of 8-7. Due to a fluke in scheduling this series is being played as 1-2-2-1-1 series. Meaning game one was in Ottawa, now it’s back to Sudbury for games two and three (tonight and tomorrow). Toffoli previewed the playoffs and talked about a myriad of other topics in his MayorsManor visit last week, check it out here.
Maxim Kitsyn – his Mississauga team is the top seeded team in the OHL and they already hold a commanding 3-0 lead in their series with Belleville. This series is alternating home teams every game. So, game four will be tomorrow night in Belleville. Kitsyn scored a goal in each of the two home games in Mississauga. His last visit to MayorsManor was during the Super Series in November (link).
Nic Deslauriers – the Kings only defensive prospect in junior hockey. His Gatineau team is up 2-0 over Rimouski in their QMJHL playoff series. Deslauriers, who stopped by MayorsManor last week too (link), had an assist in the first game and was held pointless in the second. Game three will be tomorrow night in Rimouski.
JF Berube – the Kings only goaltending prospect in junior hockey has backstopped his team (Montreal Junior) to a 2-0 lead in their QMJHL series with Halifax, including a shutout in game two. The series will resume tomorrow night in Halifax (where the next three games are scheduled). Berube made his fourth visit to MayorsManor last week (talking playoffs, contract, Deslauriers, etc), it’s available here.
Derek Forbort – the Kings 2010 first round draft pick is their lone representative in the NCAA playoffs. The University of North Dakota blueliner was part of a Fighting Sioux team that won their opener over RPI 6-0 and beat rival Denver 6-1 Sunday. They advanced to the Frozen Four, where they’ll play Michigan on April 7th. Matt Greene (UND) and Jack Johnson (Michigan) will almost certainly have a wager on that one. Forbort made his third visit of the season to MayorsManor late last week and talked about many things – including taking an acting class! – link here.
As for the Kings, they’ll resume their own playoff quest tomorrow night in Edmonton…without Anze Kopitar.