Kings no longer using Yellow Pages to find defenseman

Deslauriers – Rookie Camp, day one

During the 2006-07 NHL season, Dean Lombardi‘s first year at the helm in Los Angeles, Kevin Dallman and Mike Weaver combined to play 92 games on the Kings blueline.

While I’m sure that wasn’t what Lombardi was thinking about as he stood and watched part of Rookie Camp today from the Kings bench, he almost assuredly was smiling inside watching Jake Muzzin and Nic Deslauriers.

They’re two of the brightest young stars in the organization. Entirely different players on the ice, they share the same problem away from it.

With a solid six d-core at the NHL level, when will they ever get their shot to make the big club?

That remains to be seen. However, it hasn’t kept either from coming to camp with the right attitude. Here are comments from both following tonight’s on-ice session…

Deslauriers – “It felt great to be on the ice today. It was amazing to be out there and just to get the rust out. It was a good first day…I trained almost seven days a week this summer – only saving a little bit of time for golf…The ‘Q’ (QMJHL) is behind me. I’m at the age where I can play in the AHL now. So, I’m trying to make a place there, that’s what I want – to build on what I did in the ‘Q’ and jump to the next level.”

On the possible dual with Muzzin for the pseudo-award of ‘best defenseman in camp, he shared these remarks – “I have to do the same thing I usually do. If you try to do to much, that’s when you shoot a hole in your foot (note: I know the expression is ‘you shoot yourself in the foot’ – but, it sounds so much better when coming in broken English from somebody with an accent!). So, I just try to play my game. For sure, there’s a little bit of competition. But, I don’t make it too much and I just try to be friendly with Muzzin. He can also give me a lot of tips. He’s a few years older than me. So, even just talking with him can help me a lot.”

And Muzzin shared similar thoughts, as well – “I just have to go out and play my game. If I start to complicate things, I get into trouble. I have to play physical, move the puck, get shots through and keep it simple.”

However, he did admit to thinking and strategize a bit on occasion. “You think about how to get an edge on someone and all that. But, when it comes down to it, you have to play your game. I can’t try to play like Drew Doughty or any of those guys. I have to come out and be who I am and play how I’ve been playing my whole life and what’s gotten me here. It’s a cliche, but you just keep trying to get better everyday and you hope some day you get your shot.”

Unlike most of the other guys I spoke with on Saturday, who talked about an increased level of comfort when they’ve been to LA for at least one camp previously, Muzzin went a different direction when talking about it.

“It’s still tough though – the testing, the skates, everything is hard.”

Finally, Muzzin offered a response to Toffoli saying he was one of the guys who helped show him the ropes in Manchester last season – “Seeing an OHL guy coming into Manchester, we went through the same thing as young kids coming in from junior the year before – coming out of the playoffs then right into Manchester. So, we (he and Jordan Nolan) helped him out. It was just the right thing to do really. It’s not like we were going out of our way to help him. It was just like giving him rides, giving him whatever he needed to get by. Really, it’s just being a good friend.”

Like, giving him lunch money?

“I did actually do that,” Muzzin said while laughing.

FYI – I’ll have live coverage throughout the day from HockeyFest on Sunday. You can follow along at the links below.

In the meantime, be sure to check out the all new MayorsManor rankings of the Top 10 LA Kings prospects – it just published yesterday.

The Mayor
www.twitter.com/MayorNHL
www.facebook.com/MayorsManor  

the photo above was provided courtesy of CIKIRI

order here –> MayorsManor Store
View the store to see full line of shirts for men and women, dozen of styles and colors

Recent Articles

LA Kings 2019 Midseason Prospect Rankings: Player No. 3, Plus Notes on Grundstrom and Durzi

With each passing article, we inch closer to announcing the LA Kings No. 1 prospect. In addition to recapping the No. 3 player today, we’ll also be sharing some bonus notes many have asked for over the past few weeks.
This is usually a good time help new readers catch up on what they’ve missed […]

LA Kings 2019 Midseason Prospect Rankings: No. 4

Mired in a year of transition and with many questions still remaining about what the LA Kings roster may look like over the next two years, it’s been quite some time since the team’s prospects were primed to snag a bevy of jobs at the NHL level. With that in mind, fans will likely be […]

CONTEST: Win a Trio of Autographed LA Kings Mini-Statues

Last month, fans in attendance at the Kings-Lightning game received a free miniaturized replica of the Bob Miller statue that stands outside of Staples Center. This coming Monday, fans taking in the Kings-Capitals game can take home a similar mini-statue of Luc Robitaille. The third and final mini-statue from the set, a Wayne Gretzky version, […]

Major News Items

LA Kings 2019 Midseason Prospect Rankings: Starting at No. 10

Things they are a-changin’ in Los Angeles, and our 2019 Midseason Rankings are a perfect reflection of the current environment. Much of what will unfold in the slotting of players requires a deep explanation and … [Read More...]

More Prospect News