LA Kings sign one of the top college hockey free agents

In something that’s becoming quite the norm around this time of year for Kings GM Dean Lombardi, he added another college hockey free agent today.

Forward Brian O’Neill, who just finished his senior year at Yale, has reportedly signed a one-year deal with the team. According to reports, O’Neill was offered a similar deal last year, but chose to return to college for his final season.

Over the last three years, O’Neill has been remarkably consistent, scoring 45, 46 and 46 points. He also picked up a hat trick last February against Clarkson – where Dave Taylor and Willie Mitchell played their college hockey. This season, he posted 21 goals (one better than his previous best from last year) in 35 games.

Some additional highlights from his NCAA career:

– As a freshman he only missed one game and led all newcomers with 12 goals and 26 points.

– The following season he led Yale in points (45) and his 1.32 points per game ranked 7th in Division 1.

– Last year, he was a first-team All-ECAC player and led the Bulldogs in goals and points.

– After finishing his college career with 163 career points, second best in Yale history (Jeff Hamilton had 173), his coach Keith Allain told the local paper, “As the total package, I can make the argument that he’s the greatest player in Yale history…In terms of what his teams produced, leading the team in scoring three years in a row — and he’s so much more than just a scorer. I could go on and on about the contributions he’s made to our hockey program.”

On a side note, the kid appears to have personality too – he was voted “most humorous” by his Yale teammates

The 5-foot-9 Ivy League Player of the Year is apparently on his way to Manchester (AHL) today for practice and will make his pro debut on Saturday vs. the St. John’s IceCaps.

Other college free agents signed during Lombardi’s tenure include Kevin Westgarth, Davis Drewiske and Ray Kaunisto.

UPDATE: O’Neill did not make it to Manchester in time for practice today.  However, he is expected on the ice for Thursday’s session and  we should have an interview with him up on MayorsManor shortly.

UPDATE II: O’Neill’s interview can be found here.

NOTE: Information from the Yale University website, including the photo, was used to prepare this article.

Recent Articles

NHL Radio Replay: Hoven on Kings MVP, Gaborik Injury, Sharks Rivalry

Follow @mayorNHL
//
Enjoy a free replay of John Hoven on NHL Network Radio, where he joined hosts Scott Laughlin and Jim ‘Boomer’ Gordon, to discuss the Kings and Sharks. Some of the topics touched on included: Jeff Carter, Anze Kopitar, Marian Gaborik, Nic Dowd, Alec Martinez, Jake Muzzin, Jonathan Quick, Peter Budaj, roster moves, injuries, […]

NHL Radio Replay: Hoven, Davis, Bernstein, Pagnotta after Kings-Ducks

Follow @mayorNHL
//
Enjoy a free replay of John Hoven and Jonathan Davis on NHL Network Radio following the Kings-Ducks game in Anaheim, where they were joined by Dennis Bernstein and Dave Pagnotta of The Fourth Period magazine, as well as actor Michael Rosenbaum, and a host of other special guests. Some of the topics discussed […]

Kings – Pacific Division Pretender Or Contender?

There’s an old adage in hockey that says you can’t win a division in the first month of the season, but you sure can lose it. Through the first 15 games of the 2016-17 season, the LA Kings may not be eliminated from Pacific Division contention, but the road to the title is going to be […]

Major News Items

LA Kings 2015-16 Prospect Rankings: No. 1 Revealed

We're finally ready to announce the name of which Los Angeles Kings prospect has nabbed the No. 1 spot in our bi-annual rankings of the team's future hopefuls. After working our way through a handful of Honorable … [Read More...]

More Prospect News