Jordan Weal Dishes on His Monarchs Teammates

Weal Monarchs AHL by Rich TiltonAny good centerman knows how to serve it up to his linemates, but in part one of our latest interview with Jordan Weal he dishes on – rather than to – a few of his teammates.

The Kings third round draft pick in 2010, Weal knows all about being a mega-points producer, having averaged 105-points-per season over his final three years in the WHL. Now a third-year pro in the AHL, he has maintained nearly a point-per-game pace each of the last two regular seasons. However, he has managed to take things to new heights during this post-season, leading the league with 15 points (including 10 goals) in 10 games.

As the Monarchs prepare to begin the Eastern Conference Final on Thursday, Weal shared some thoughts with us regarding linemate Michael Mersch (who leads all rookies with 13 points in 10 games), his coach Mike Stothers, as well as a few other Kings prospects who were in Manchester recently…

On a new nickname that was bestowed upon one of his Monarchs teammates this season:

“When we went back to St. John’s, we met all of O’Brien’s friends and stuff. They always call him ‘Z-bonk’ or ‘Zobs’ – we had never heard that before. We were always calling him O.B.”

On Kings 2014 first round draft pick Adrian Kempe joining the team just before the playoffs:

“He’s a little shy right now; we haven’t seen his real jokester-self yet. We found some [videos] of him, though, back when he was younger and they were pretty funny. Maybe when he warms up to the guys a little more, we will start to see that side of him. He’s 18 years old, he’s a young kid and he’s coming to a new team. He doesn’t speak – no, he speaks English well, it’s just not perfect. When you come into a new team with older guys, it’s going to be different. You definitely see it, when he’s in smaller groups, he’ll loosen up a little more and get a little lighthearted.”

On Valentin Zykov and Jonny Brodzinski training with the team for a few weeks ago recently:

“They were in the dressing room. They were both hurt, so they were getting treatment a lot. I got to talk to them a little bit and got to know them. They weren’t skating a lot with our group on the ice, so I didn’t get to see them that much, that way. They’re both nice guys. I’ve known Zykov for a couple of years now, he’s a nice kid. He seems like he really works hard, he’s very respectful. They’re going to be good for the next couple of years, I think… [Brodzinsky] skated once with us, actually, and you could already see that he has a wicked shot. He’s a big kid and it looks like he puts a lot behind his shot. I think he re-hurt his ankle on that skate, so he only got one skate in. But, when he was out there, he was definitely noticeable, his release.”

On his rookie coach, Mike Stothers [AHL Coach of the Year]:

“He’s a good coach. I think the biggest thing is his calm demeanor behind the bench. He doesn’t say much. He always has that calm, quiet look on his face. Sometimes, in the room, when we’re not playing up to par, he definitely lets us know, but you have to do that sometimes. I think the biggest thing is when he’s behind the bench. Say we’re in a one goal game, in the third period, when he’s calm, it definitely works down to the players and the players feel calm too.”

On Stothers making a statement by not pulling J.F. Berube in the first round:

“It’s good, because you know he has trust in you. With a guy like Berubes, he’s been there for us all year, making saves and playing well. He was making big saves when we needed it, especially in that Game 5 in the third period [against the Portland Pirates]. I think that was one of the best periods I’ve seen J.F. play all year. He let in those three goals right before the period [allowing Portland to tie the game]. Then, we got the quick two [goals, early in the third period]. Right after that, we kind of fell asleep, but J.F. was sharp. He stopped a couple of back door taps-ins in the last couple minutes of the game, which was pretty phenomenal. That just goes to show, if you have trust in your players that have been playing hard for you all year, they’re going to come through when you need them most.”

On Berube’s stellar play in the second round, including only allowing a single goal in the series-clinching game vs the Penguins:

“J.F. is a great goaltender. He had his troubles when he first got here, his first year. His first couple of games were tough. But, he’s a guy that doesn’t let that bother him. He keeps working and it’s definitely showing, because this year he had an unbelievable year. He only had [nine] loses all season. That’s unbelievable.”

In part two of the interview – posted here – Weal opens up about his play of late, as well as provides some insight on a potential move to wing should he make the LA Kings roster next season. Also, be sure to check out some of the related articles linked below.

3 MUST-READ WEAL ARTICLES:

AHL: Weal’s Game 4 Hat Trick Has Him Chasing Monarchs History

Jordan Weal on Not Playing in LA, Being Back in Manchester

Jordan Weal Scouting Report

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