Given Dean Lombardi’s mandate to ‘build from the net out’ when he took over as GM of the Los Angeles Kings five years ago, perhaps we’re doing this in reverse order.
Let’s now head to the crease and take a look at the four netminders who will try to stop the barrage of pucks thrown at them over the next five days…
Jean-Francois Berube – 6-foot-1, 168 lbs – some might say he’s exceeded expectations since being drafted in the fourth round of the 2009 NHL Draft – he had an exceptional year last season, posting a 2.60 GAA and .902 save percentage in 50 games – he was near the top of all key statistics in the QMJHL and was even better in the playoffs – nicknamed ‘Hollywood,’ he’s most likely bound for Ontario (ECHL) for the upcoming campaign - we’ve featured his mask designs several times on MayorsManor (I personally liked the one with UFC fighter Georges St-Pierre on it) – if you’d like a sneak peek of the brand new mask he’ll be debuting this weekend, click here - plus, here are some thoughts from JF earlier this summer, including notes on his recent hip surgery – check my twitter tomorrow for updates on his health
Christopher Gibson – perhaps the Kings didn’t need another goalie in the system, but Lombardi and his staff just couldn’t help themselves when Gibson was still available with the 49th pick at this past June’s draft – 6-foot-1, 198 lbs, he played 37 games for a very poor Chicoutimi (QMJHL) team last season and posted extremely strong numbers (2.42 GAA, .920 save percentage) – he’ll be back in the ‘Q’ this season and will most likely be the starting goalie for Team Finland at this winter’s World Junior Championships – here are some quotes from both Gibson and one of his newest fans, Kings coach Terry Murray
Martin Jones – if you don’t know this name yet, you will soon enough - he’s poised to be the next uber prospect pushed through the Kings pipeline – like Jake Muzzin on the blueline, Jones was signed as a free agent – a big kid, 6-4 and 191 lbs, he went to Manchester last year as a rookie and went to the AHL All-Star Game! – overall, in 39 games with the Monarchs, he posted a 2.25 GAA and .924 save percentage – his continued development, perhaps, will give the Kings a degree of comfort if they need to move Jonathan Bernier at some point in the future – here you can read some of the Kings coaches praising the play of Jones – and here Jones answered a few questions for us prior to the AHL playoffs
Michael Morrison – the only invitee among the bunch, he was also in LA for Dev Camp back in July – 6-foot, 175 lbs, played the last three seasons for the OHL’s Kitchener Rangers (Mike Richards junior team) and posted a 2.65 GAA with a .912 save percentage – however, just a few weeks ago he was traded to the Peterborough Petes for the upcoming season
We’ve also posted the full roster and schedule for this year’s Kings Rookie Camp 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.