LA Kings 2011 Rookie Camp Primer – the forwards

Business is about to pick up…

Fresh on the heels of yesterday’s official release of the Kings 2011 Rookie Camp roster and schedule, below is some additional information to get you primed and ready to go.

KINGS PROSPECTS

Andy Andreoff – 6-foot-1 center, drafted in 2011, third round – played 66 games for Oshawa (OHL) last season, scoring 33 goals and was impressive at the Kings’ July Development Camp – if he a signs pro contract, could end up in Manchester this season – his most recent MayorsManor interview was just yesterday morning, linked here

Robert Czarnik — 6-foot forward, drafted in 2008, third round – originally was at the University of Michigan, then ‘transferred’ to the Plymouth Whalers (OHL) – scored 33 goals and 44 assists last season – most recent MayorsManor interview went up yesterday also, linked here

Ray Kaunisto — 6-foot-3 left wing, signed as a free agent in 2010, following his college career at Northern Michigan – played 57 games for Manchester last season – one of the best (and most respected) chirpers among the prospects – gave an epic interview on MayorsManor earlier this week, where he provided his ‘bucket list’ – check it out here

Brandon Kozun — 5-foot-8 forward, drafted in 2009, sixth round – has proclaimed he’s ‘ready for the NHL’ – played 73 games for Manchester last season (23 goals, 25 assists) – expected to get a long look by the Kings leadership group at this year’s camp – frequent guest on MayorsManor, with his most interview posting later today (in what will be a partial follow-up to Kaunisto’s bucket list)…update: it’s been posted, link here

Jordan Nolan — 6-foot-3, drafted in 2009, seventh round - played three games with Ontario Reign at the end of his junior career, moved on to play 75 games last season for Manchester – primarily plays a tough guy role, however he has decent hands – appeared on MayorsManor last September, linked here

Michael Schumacher — 6-foot-3 forward, drafted in 2011, seventh round - played in Sweden last season and is coming over to the OHL this season (note: was drafted by Owen Sound, recently traded to Sault Ste Marie) – tall, lanky player with good vision and high compete level – showed some flashy moves at times during Dev Camp, will be interesting to get a longer look at him in scrimmages next week – all the way from Europe, here’s a link to his first MayorsManor interview

Tyler Toffoli — 6-foot-1 right wing, drafted in 2010, second round - scored 57 goals in 68 games for Ottawa last season, winning the OHL scoring title – along with Kozun, he’s expected to be the star of camp this year – was originally coached by legendary bench boss Brian Kilrea (the first man to ever score a goal for the LA Kings) – Toffoli has been a regular guest on MayorsManor, including this exclusive look at his time with Team Canada this summer

Linden Vey — 6-foot right wing, drafted in 2009, fourth round - scored 46 goals in 69 games for Medicine Hat last season and won the WHL scoring title – appeared on MayorsManor several times last season and provided a few funny comments during Dev Camp, linked here

Jordan Weal — 5-foot-10 center, drafted in 2010, third round - spent last season with Regina (WHL), scoring 43 goals, and then played seven games with Manchester – if he returns to Regina, he’ll be playing under new coach (and former LA King) Pat Conacher – his most recent MayorsManor interview is linked here…he also talked Kozun and Toffoli here

INVITED PLAYERS:

Taylor Carnevale – 6-foot center – new addition to the invitee list, as he was not at Dev Camp in July – scored 35 goals last season – finished the year with the Windsor Spitfires (under GM Warren Rychel, a former King) – previously played for three different OHL teams, including Oshawa (with Andreoff, listed above) and Barrie (with Kyle Clifford for two seasons) – and if that’s not enough, he was traded this summer to Sarnia! – if he returns to junior hockey for his over-age season, it will be with his FIFTH team

Michael Kantor — 6-foot forward – ended last season in Sault Ste Marie (OHL), after coming over in a trade from Saginaw – in 52 games last year he had 20 points (11g, 9a) – Kantor played physical and kept his feet moving during scrimmages at Dev Camp (as noted in a game recap here), which is probably what earned him a second invitation – also, his current GM (Kyle Dubas) likened him to Kings prospect Rich Clune in a MayorsManor interview here

Rob Mignardi — 6-foot right wing - played 68 games for Owen Sound (OHL) last season, scoring 30 goals – looking to turn pro this month – showed good grit and compete at the Kings’ July Development Camp – according to his twitter, he rocks Dr Dre headphones and likes to stalk Maple Leafs GM Brian Burke at airports – could be a great fit for Ontario (ECHL), if he doesn’t land a deal with Manchester

J.D. Watt – the oldest player in this group, he turned 24 in May – was originally drafted by the Calgary Flames (fourth round, 2005) – has played 19 games in the ECHL and spent the last two years in the AHL – in 37 games total last year he netted two goals and 86 penalty minutes – the year prior he racked up 267 PIM in 70 games with the Abbotsford Heat (draw your own conclusion) – random fact: one of his Heat teammates was former King Jamie Lundmark

ADDITIONAL NOTES:

Several other Kings prospects who were in LA for Development Camp in July have returned to college, thus they won’t be participating in this week’s rookie camp. That list of forwards includes Joel Lowry (fifth round, 2011 – Cornell), Michael Mersch (fourth round, 2011 – Wisconsin), Nicholas Shore (third round, 2011 – Denver) and Nic Dowd (seventh round, 2009 – St. Cloud State).

To continue reading articles in this series, check out the look at the defensemen and goaltenders.

Beginning tomorrow, we’ll have live updates from Rookie Camp in El Segundo – including comments from players and the Kings coaching staff.

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