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

July 2017: Update on LA Kings Salary Cap Situation and Roster Projection

Fresh on the heels of forward Nick Shore and the Kings agreeing to new one year contract, with an average annual value (AAV) of $925,000, we have updated our look at the team’s current salary cap situation.
2017-18 LA Kings Projected Opening Night Roster (with important notes at the end of the article)
 

Cammalleri
Kopitar
Brown

1,000,000
10,000,000
5,875,000

 
 
 

Pearson
Carter
Toffoli

3,750,000
5,272,727
4,550,000

 
 
 

Kempe
Dowd
Brodzinski

894,167
650,000
950,000

 
 
 

Clifford
Shore
Lewis

1,600,000
925,000
2,000,000

 
 
 

Nolan
Andreoff
 

950,000
677,500
 

 
 
 

 
 
 

Muzzin
Doughty
 

4,000,000
7,000,000
 

 
 
 

Martinez
LaDue
 

4,000,000
1,500,000
 

 
 
 

Forbort
Gravel
 

650,000
950,000
 

 
 
 

Folin
 
 

850,000
 
 

 
 
 

 
 
 

Quick
Kuemper
 

5,800,000
650,000
 

 
The above 23-man roster […]

NHL Radio Replay: Hoven’s Kings Updates – Thornton, Brown, Phaneuf, Bernier, Iginla, etc.

Follow @mayorNHL
//
Enjoy a free replay of John Hoven on NHL Network Radio, where he joined host Nick Alberga of Ice Cap to discuss a plethora of topics surrounding the LA Kings roster heading into free agency, including: Joe Thornton of the San Jose Sharks, Dustin Brown-for-Dion Phaneuf trade speculation, goaltender Jonathan Bernier, forward Jarome […]

Yannetti Evaluates Kings Selections from 2017 NHL Draft

Although the Los Angeles Kings have gone through significant upheaval in their management ranks over the past few months, the 2017 NHL Draft was largely business as usual. While GM Rob Blake was present at the draft table, the event was largely run by Mark Yannetti, Director of Amateur Scouting – just as it has […]

Major News Items

LA Kings 2017 Mid-Season Prospect Rankings: Top Two Players Revealed

The wait is over; it's time to reveal the top two players on our 2017 Mid-Season Prospect Rankings. Which player has earned the coveted No. 1 spot? As we finish off this multi-part series, we'll begin with a thank you … [Read More...]

More Prospect News