Adrian Kempe Postgame Comments Following his U.S. Debut

Kempe NHL 2014 DraftEven with the Kings not qualifying for the Stanley Cup Playoffs, there continues to be a plethora of action surrounding their AHL affiliate in Manchester, including the debut of 2014 first round draft pick Adrian Kempe on Friday night. Rob Blake spoke with MayorsManor about the most recent high-end prospect to sign an entry level contract here. Now, here is what the 18-year old forward had to share with us after playing 12:06 in his U.S. debut…

On how he felt in his first game:

“I felt pretty well. Little bit hard in the beginning when I came out, it’s pretty fast hockey. Faster than in Sweden, this is a small rink here as well. I think I got into it pretty fast and on the whole game, I think it was a pretty good game.”

On if he is happy with his performance in his first game:

“Yeah. I’m happy with my first game. Played pretty simple and just worked hard. I always work hard I got a few chances and a couple shots too. So yeah I’m pretty happy with my first game.”

On if he feels comfortable on the left wing, compared to center:

“Yeah for sure. I played left and right wing the whole season in Sweden this year. But yeah I feel comfortable there. It doesn’t matter anyway, I can play both center and wing.”

On playing against men in Sweden, compared to junior kids coming to the AHL having played against other kids:

“It took a couple of shifts to get into it, but I felt pretty good. I’ve been playing against men for like two years now, so it’s not so much different; except for the small rink and a little bit faster.”

On the small rinks in North America:

“I like it. There are more opportunities here when you’re on the surface so yeah I like it.”

On his comfort with the system thus far:

“I have some questions sometimes, but I feel pretty comfortable with it. It’s a good system and I think I did pretty well today with it.”

On the coach’s plan to use him on the top line for tomorrow’s game:

“It feels great. Just working hard and trying to get chances. I think it was a pretty good game and I think he feels that way too.”

Stothers, on Kempe:

“I thought Kempe did a real good job tonight. I thought Portland was testing him – maybe testing his courage, maybe testing his will, and he held in there. He didn’t take any backwards steps, he didn’t shy away from any scrums. I thought he went to the dirty areas. I thought he played hard along the wall. He made some great plays. He had a great one-time shot from the slot. We saw a little bit of that in practice, the last couple of days he’s been with us. There seems to be a real positive upside to his offensive abilities. We’re still learning what he can do defensively and away from the puck.”

Stothers, on how he feels Kempe’s game will translate in North America:

“Well, he’s played at a pretty high level over there (in Sweden). He certainly doesn’t look like an 18 year old. He’s a big, strong, thick kid already. He skates well. There’s a real good chance that he’s going to play with Weal and O’Neill tomorrow, which should help utilize his skill set. But again, we have to evaluate our bumps and bruises here tonight and re-evaluate where we are. But, I’d love to see what he can do with those two guys.”

RELATED CONTENT:

Adrian Kempe Scouting Report via Kings Prospect Rankings

Blake and Stothers Excited for Adrian Kempe’s U.S. Debut

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  1. […] Adrian Kempe Postgame Comments Following his U.S. Debut […]

  2. […] draft pick Adrian Kempe made his North American debut on Friday night – something he discussed here – and went on to play in all three of the Monarchs final regular season […]

  3. […] Kempe signed an entry level contract with the Kings last week. He is now in the U.S. and made his North American debut on Friday night with the Manchester Monarchs, something he talked about here. […]