Kings prospect Kevin Gravel on Forbort, Cernak, and Reign Offense

Gravel AHL Ontario Reign - October 2015LA Kings prospect Kevin Gravel, who is expected to be listed in the next installment of our 2015-16 Early Season Rankings (hint, hint), recently caught up with MayorsManor, where the 6-foot-5 defenseman talked about taking on a bigger offensive role, fellow blueliner Derek Forbort, and another prospect who has certainly spent some time in the gym. Take a look…

On his offensive awakening over the past 18 months (including being among Ontario’s shot leaders so far this season):

“I think it’s just confidence. I think I developed a little bit of that my senior year at school. I scored a little bit more my senior year and it kind of gave me a little bit more confidence on the blue line just to kind of get pucks through and have a little bit more composure on the blue line and be able to chip in a little bit. I’ve had a few opportunities here, they’ve put me on the power play and I’ve gotten lucky to play with some really good guys here. We have a lot of talent on our team and those guys make plays and they give your opportunities to, as a defenseman, jump in on the play and kind of chip in here and there with the team.”

On the constant comparisons between him and Derek Forbort:

“Forbs and I, we are pretty good friends. We obviously support each other as much as we can. We never really compared ourselves, one or the other, just because we were in the same draft class. I know, maybe from the outside looking in, people kind of make that comparison. But we are really good friends and had the opportunity to play in a pairing last year, too. I’m happy for Forbs that he is finally making that transition to the Kings. I watched his first few games on TV and he’s looking good. Everyone is excited for Forbs and he’s playing well. He’s definitely earned the opportunity that he’s getting right now.”

On the AHL in Manchester versus Ontario:

“I think it’s fast hockey. It’s the second-best league in the world. Maybe a little bit of time to adjust and kind of get your bearings, but we are only a few games into the season right now and once that puck drops, it’s hockey. A lot of the same teams we were playing last year made the jump out here [to California], too. Different logo, different color, but a lot of the guys are the same. We are excited to be out here. So far, so good on the start, so hopefully it keeps going.”

On Friday night’s comeback win in the team’s home opener:

“I think any time you’re playing that first game at home, you have a little extra jump in your step. Obviously we didn’t get the start we wanted, but that’s not to say that the boys weren’t excited to be back in Ontario. We had a couple of road trips, against that same Bakersfield team and we had a long one to Winnipeg. Anytime you can play at home it’s nice, and we knew the crowd here likes hockey and they were going to be excited and ready to go, and they absolutely were. It took us a little bit longer to kind of show up, but we battled back and got the win.”

On Erik Cernak’s body:

“He’s definitely got a gift there. He’s built and certainly has some tools. It’s going to be exciting to watch him come through the ranks, too. He has a lot of potential and all the tools there to make something happen.”

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Rob Blake interview on Reign opening weekend – talking Mersch, Zykov, Dowd, etc.

LA Kings 2015-16 Early Season Prospect Rankings

Gravel Has More Than A Puncher’s Chance At The NHL – Our feature story for LAKings.com

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