Top prospects talk disappointment of not playing tonight

Yesterday afternoon, Los Angeles Kings coach Terry Murray announced he was going with a more veteran line-up tonight vs. the Anaheim Ducks – with Andrei Loktionov as the lone prospect included in the group of forwards.

After talking a look at prospects Brandon Kozun, Tyler Toffoli and others vs. the Phoenix Coyotes, they’ll sit out tonight’s contest.

Here’s some reaction from a few of the Kings prospects on that decision and their experience from Wednesday…

Toffoli – “I always want to play. But, I just have to work hard every day. It’s their decision…I think I’ve done well so far. I’ve done everything that they’ve wanted me to do – work hard, get myself into better conditioning…and I thought I played well in the game (vs. Phoenix).”

Kozun – “We played against basically (the Coyotes) entire roster, they weren’t missing many guys. So, that was fun. I went to Phoenix trying to do my best and, honestly, I think played a pretty good game. The biggest thing I took away from it is I know I can play against those guys. I know I can have success against them and now I just have to wait for my opportunity.”

Ray Kaunisto – “It’s a little (disappointing), but I was kind of expecting that – they want to get their regular line-up in and get some games under their belt before the regular season starts. So, you kind of have to expect that.”

Over on defense, Nic Deslauriers had slightly different expectations…

“I was waiting to play a game,” he shared. “Now, I’ll just keep proving myself and preparing myself for what’s next. That’s the main point. For sure, I thought I maybe had a chance to play with the two games (on Wednesday). But, I’ll get over it and think about Manchester now.”

Two of the other defensive prospects getting the bulk of attention so far, Thomas Hickey and Slava Voynov, will both patrol the blueline again, as they did on Wednesday at Staples Center.

The longer Drew Doughty isn’t signed – and if he plans on joining the team in Europe, he needs to be in camp by Friday at the latest – the more likely one of those two will be in the starting line-up on opening night.

Coach Murray evaluated the play of both in an interview here.

The full line-up for tonight is as follows:

Dustin Penner – Anze Kopitar – Justin Williams
Simon Gagne – Mike Richards – Dustin Brown
Kyle Clifford – Jarret Stoll – Scott Parse
Brad Richardson – Andrei Loktionov – Kevin Westgarth

Willie Mitchell – Slava Voynov
Alec Martinez – Matt Greene
Davis Drewiske – Thomas Hickey

Jonathan Quick
Jonathan Bernier

Later this afternoon we’ll have a preview of the Kings-Ducks game and information on how to watch the game online tonight for free.

The Mayor
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Kings prospect Ray Kaunisto calls a Ducks fan ‘a lost cause’

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