LA Kings 2011 Rookie Camp Primer – the defensemen

Can you believe summer is officially over tomorrow?

Thankfully, the Kings rookies will take to the ice in El Segundo and we can back to the business of talking non-stop puck.

With that in mind, earlier we took a long look at the 13 forwards…and below we have news and notes on the eight blueliners attending camp:

KINGS PROSPECTS

Nicolas Deslauriers — 6-foot-1, 200 lbs, drafted in 2009, third round – in three years from now, he just might be the best of the ‘next’ defensemen coming up through LA’s system – I’ve been singing his praises ever since first seeing him on the ice – his skating his smooth, his vision is great and he put it all together last year, posting more points in the QMJHL playoffs than any other defenseman (while playing for the Gatineau Olympiques) – he also had 43 points (13 goals, 30 assists) in 48 regular season games – he showed up at Dev Camp in July with added muscle too – he’s been on MayorsManor many times over the last two seasons, here are some thoughts he shared heading into the playoffs

Jake Muzzin — 6-foot-3, 215 lbs, he’s two years older than Deslauriers and the Kings look to have a real steal on their hands here – Muzzin was signed as a free agent after originally being drafted by the Penguins and then never signing a contract – he played 11 games with the Kings in the early part of last season, then was injured in Manchester, but came back strong in the second half – someday (no time soon, relax), he could be thought of as the replacement to Matt Greene…with a little more offensive upside – like Greene, he’s also funny, as evidenced here when he called out Tyler Toffoli…and here when talking about his hair

Kings coach Terry Murray weighed on the performance of both Muzzin and Deslauriers following Dev Camp in July – link.

It’s also worth noting that several of the Kings top defensive prospects have already advanced beyond the ‘rookie’ level and won’t start camp until the main roster sessions open up next weekend – this includes Andrew Campbell, Thomas Hickey and Viatcheslav Voynov.

Of course, the Kings have also drafted several other defensemen the last few years, namely Derek Forbort and Kevin Gravel. Both of whom are in college and thus, won’t be coming to LA at all this month.

Which is part of the reason we have this list…

INVITED GUESTS

Michal Cajkovski – don’t have much info on him – 6-foot-3, 208 lbs, last season was his first year of junior hockey (OHL) – then, earlier two months ago, Kingston Frontenacs GM Doug Gilmour (yes, this Doug Gilmour) traded him to Brian Kilrea and the Ottawa 67’s

Pierre Durepos – 5-foot-11, 174 lbs, won the Memorial Cup this past season with the Saint John Sea Dogs, the top prize in all of junior hockey – it was his second season in the QMJHL and he posted 30 points in 68 regular season games – prior to Dev Camp, he stopped by MayorsManor, check it out here to see what he’s all about

Jordan Hill – in MMA the three worst words are ‘card subject to change’ – here, it would be ‘roster subject to change,’ as Hill has reportedly gone home with a hip injury and won’t be attending camp as scheduled – last season he split time between Manchester (AHL) and Ontario (ECHL)

Colin Miller – 6-foot-1, 173 lbs, has only one season of junior hockey under his belt, having played 66 games last year for the Sault Ste Marie Greyhounds (OHL) – his current GM (Kyle Dubas) checked in with us before Dev Camp in July and said he was very surprised Miller wasn’t selected in the NHL Draft (his full interview comments on Miller are here) – Muzzin and several other Kings prospects are also from the Soo, so Miller should easily find an off-ice clique

Alex Roach – listed at 6-foot-4 (but I’m not too sure about that, don’t recall him being that tall at Dev Camp, maybe I’m wrong), 227 lbs, played last season for Calgary in the WHL – lets face it, the Hitmen have been good to the Kings in recent years, including developing Brandon Kozun and Martin Jones – he had a physical element to his game when he was here earlier this summer (he also was beaten by Toffoli and even though he’s not known as a goal scorer, Roach also found the back of the net in one of the scrimmages) and he’s somebody to keep an eye on this week – it will be interesting to see what tools he puts on display at camp

Tiegan Zahn – last year, the only thing people wanted to talk about was Brayden Schenn – well, he’s been traded since then…but the Kings did manage to bring in Schenn’s captain from the Saskatoon Blades! – Zahn is an interesting case, a 6-foot-3, 210 pound blueliner, who played on one of the top teams in all of junior hockey – he was originally drafted by the Blackhawks in the fifth round, then again in 2010 by the Tampa Bay Lightning (in the seventh round) – why is this kid coming to camp here as in invitee? – that will be one of my first questions for him tomorrow

To see the full roster and schedule for this year’s Kings Rookie Camp, click here.

Remember, all on-ice workouts for the next few days are free.  And then this portion of camp will conclude with two games against a team of Phoenix Coyotes prospects/rookies.

Be sure to follow along at the links below, as I’ll have live updates and interviews beginning Saturday morning.

The Mayor
www.twitter.com/MayorNHL 
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