Kings Dev Camp: Who is the One Invitee to Watch Closely Tonight?

Every summer, one of the more intriguing aspects of Kings Development Camp is the short list of players who are invited to attend camp, but aren’t actually property of the team. Typically, these players fall into three categories – undrafted players who are committed to attend college the following season, players who are there as a favor to somebody in the organization, and Canadian junior players who somehow slipped through the NHL Draft just a few days before arriving in Los Angeles for a week of training.

And it’s that last group that is usually the most compelling. Several of those players have eventually been signed to professional contracts with the Kings, most notably goaltender Martin Jones.

This year, the 18-year-old hopeful everybody should be watching is OHL defenseman Billy Constantinou. Last season he spent time with the Niagara IceDogs and Kingston Frontenacs. In total, he put up 33 points (10G, 23A) in 66 games. Many of the top scouting services had him projected as a third round pick. It never happened and now he’s here in SoCal, preparing for a chance to shine in tonight’s big scrimmage at the Kings training facility. We chatted with him yesterday, as he came highly recommended to us by several of our trusted sources in the OHL.

Constantinou on processing what happened at the Draft:

It was pretty tough. I was sitting there for seven rounds, not hearing my name. You’re sitting there waiting and waiting. You start to get impatient a bit. Then it’s over and you wonder, ‘Well, what do I do now?’ You realize things didn’t go as planned, but everything happens for a reason. You just have to go with the flow.

Constantinou on getting a camp invite from the Kings:

I’m not going to turn anything down. Opportunity is opportunity. There’s still a high chance that I can make something of it. I have to take what I’m given and do the best with it. I’m always trying to do my best, make an impression. I try to be the first guy on, last guy off. I want to be the hardest worker, never take shift off. Stuff like that. This is an opportunity they’ve given me and I need to show them I want to be part of this team one day.

Constantinou on what type of pressure comes from being one of the ‘bigger name’ invitees in camp:

There’s not really much pressure. I’m just here to play hockey. It’s an honor to come here and work for a spot. I’m here to play hockey, have fun, and work hard.

Constantinou on some of the guys he knows here:

I lived with Akil Thomas for a bit when I played in Niagara. Our dads actually grew up together, as well. I’ve known him since I was like 6 years old. I also know Markus Phillips, I went to school with him. I could learn a few things from him too. He’s very good, sound defensively. I know Aidan Dudas and Sean Durzi. I feel Dudas is a bit under the radar. He’s a highly skilled player. He can score; really, really good player and he’s hard to play against.

The Kings have to sign him now, we’ve already landed on his nickname (check the hashtag).

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Comments

  1. With all the new additions… Do you expect Maillet back…if so Ahl deal most likely…hearing anything on his future. Ty

  2. John Hoven says:

    Signed with the Washington Capitals