10 Tidbits from the Black Aces

With more than a dozen of the Kings’ top prospects in town for the playoffs, it’s time to check in with some of the guys and see what’s going on. Here, we talked with defenseman Nick Deslauriers, plus forwards Andy Andreoff, Linden Vey and Jordan Weal

Vey on learning the importance of playing sound defensively: “Just look at the guy that play in the NHL, especially the top guys – Kopitar, Richards, and all those guys. They can play in all three zones and score as well. Especially for a centerman, like myself, (Jordan) Weal, and (Nick) Shore, our new guy, it’s tough. You’re so used to being a goal scorer your whole life, you don’t really have to pay attention much to the defensive zone. And then you get to the pro ranks, and you can’t play unless you’re a 200-foot player. It took me a couple years to realize that, and to work on my defensive zone. But this year I realized playing good defense, you get that much more opportunity – time with the puck, offensive chances. So that’s something you can always improve on, and I have to keep working on that.”

Vey on being credited with coming up with Tyler Toffoli’s NSFW nickname: “For him, obviously he’s an amazing player. One of the best I’ve ever played with. You know, the guy goes top-titty quite a bit, so I think it suits him. It might have been self-proclaimed, but will go with it and say everybody made it up for him.”

Vey on being known as the guy who gives all of his Manchester teammates nicknames, and testing them all out on Andreoff: “Andy’s one of the best guys. He’s obviously a real good buddy of mine. He sits beside me. I don’t think he can handle too many of mine though. And we’ll get after him – chirping him, and kind of getting in his face. Obviously, he’s a big, strong, tough guy and he wants to take his frustrations out on us. But we have to make sure we stay quick so we can get away from him.”

Deslauriers on what he takes away from this season in Manchester: “I think it’s fun. I think this season was kinda an adjustment for me from junior. Now it’s just fun. I think you have to adjust to being a pro. So, I think I fit more on the team, almost like a veteran in there. I think we had a great group this year. But also (suffered from) a lot of injuries and the guys whov got picked up on waivers . A lot of PTO’s came with us and did a great job. I think the last six games, we had to win, just to make the playoffs. We had a good playoff. We just played against a good team and had some unlucky bounces with a lot of OT games. But, I think it was a good year overall.”

Deslauriers on still needing to find some consistency to his game: “I think sometimes you have to take what the people say. I think the big thing, even though I’m young, it’s my defensive game that I have to work on. I think I improved against the physicality, and yeah, I think the points are gonna come up. (But) 5-on-5 defensemen don’t score many goals. I think it’s on the power play. However, I think I had a great playoff – the power play was working hard, trying not to rush the puck too much, just to hit the second wave and find the opening. I think that’s what I did in the playoffs. At the moment I had to score, it happened. I wish I had scored more goals this season, but I think playoffs were important. It’s just sad that we ended short, but had a great experience this year…I’m still working on my defensive game, just the positioning and everything. I think blocking some shots too. I had a lot of PK time this year and I think it helped me a lot. I think next year I need to improve again.”

Andreoff on being in LA: “It’s great to be back. It’s the best place in the world. It’s another good experience you know, get it under your belt. Watching a couple of the games, seeing how good they are in playoffs and everything. So I have a lot of fun down here practicing with the guys from Manch. You just have to be ready for anything. You never know what could happen. There’s a lot of injuries with everything going on, so you just have to be ready.”

Andreoff on if seeing the playoff games in person motivates him and how often he dreams of being in the NHL: “Every day. Every time I step on the ice, I want to get ready to be in the NHL. So I’m just learning, playing pro, and getting ready for it. But, you get goose bumps watching the start of the game and seeing how it is. We got to go down to the ice level. They brought us down there to see the speed up close. It’s a great experience watching those game.”

Andreoff on his favorite team growing up: “I liked the Leafs just because they were the hometown team. Leafs and Detroit. I liked them when Datsyuk got there, and Yzerman was playing. I looked up to those guys.”

Weal on if seeing Kings playoff games motivates him: “Yeah, that’s what athletes live for. The roar of the crowd, and the excitement of playing games. It does give you a little motivation, because it means you’re gonna keep working, and you’re going to keep moving forward. I think that the work’s not done. There’s a ways to go. I think guys have to realize, and if they do that it’ll be good.”

Weal on what he thought of Colton Yellow Horn coming in: “I knew him from junior hockey. He scored a lot of goals my first year I was there. I think we might’ve played one game against each other, but that was it. And then he got to Manch, and he made an immediate impact. So we knew what he was all about right off the bat. We played a lot together, and he’s really a smart player, and he knows how to put the puck in the net. I think we worked well. Myself, him, and Kozy. We had some good chemistry. Hopefully he’s back, and we can keep it going next year.”

To see the Kings 2013 prospect rankings click here or use the link below for more info on this year’s Black Aces.

RELATED CONTENT:   Dean Lombardi on the 2013 Black Aces

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Comments

  1. Jacklin says:

    I didnt know yellow horn was coming in, ive seen him at reign games that kid is really amazing but he’s kinda small.