The herd is starting to thin.
When the junior hockey playoffs began a few weeks ago the Los Angeles Kings were well represented. They had the WHL scoring champion (Linden Vey), a player on the top team the WHL (Brayden Schenn), the OHL scoring champion (Tyler Toffoli), a player on the top team in the OHL (Maxim Kitsyn), one of the better goalies in the QMJHL (JF Berube) – plus a few others.
Now, we’re in the third round and many of them have been eliminated. Ironically though, the Kings still have one player left in each league…
WHL – Vey has continued to put up numbers in the playoffs and still leads ‘the Dub’ in post-season points (12 goals, 13 assists, 25 points). However, his team is facing a daunting 3-1 hole heading into game five tonight. Even more troubling, his team’s high powered offense has gone silent – scoring just one goal total in the last two games. His Medicine Hat Tigers will need to beat the Kootenay Ice in their barn if they plan on seeing a game five in this series. Note: Kootenay was the the team that beat Brayden Schenn’s Saskatoon Blades in the last round.
OHL – Kitsyn’s Mississauga St. Michaels Majors are already guaranteed a spot in next month’s Memorial Cup tournament. However, the OHL’s regular season champs aren’t resting on their laurels. They swept their opponents in the first and second rounds, then finished off the Ice Dogs in five games to take the Eastern Conference Championship. Now they’ll move on to the OHL Finals, where they’ll play the winner of the Windsor Spitfires v Owen Sound series (Owen Sound currently lead 3-1 and game five is tonight. You may recall that Windsor is run by former Kings enforcer Warren Rychel and they’re the two-time, defending OHL Champions. Their first title team included Kings prospect Andrei Loktionov). Kitsyn had a goal last night, his seventh of the playoffs.
QMJHL – Defenseman Nicolas Deslauriers and his Gatineau Olympiques teammates trail the Quebec Remparts 2-1 in their series. Gatineau opened the series with a win, but have dropped two straight. They’ll be looking to tie things up tonight in game four, before the series returns to Quebec on Friday night. Deslauriers scored in game two of this series and his 11 points (three goals, eight assists) are fifth best among defensemen in the QMJHL playoffs.
Each league will crown a champion in about two weeks time and then they’ll all compete in the 2011 Memorial Cup beginning on Friday, May 20th.
The Kings Prospect Report will continue here on MayorsManor for the duration of the playoffs and into the summer months.