Even with summer winding down, the whirlwind adventures of Brandt Clarke continue. He went from seeing the OHL shutdown, to playing overseas, then came back to North America and won a gold medal at the Under-18s, only to top that by being selected in the first round of the NHL Draft by Los Angeles. In recent weeks, the 18-year-old defenseman was back with Team Canada, attending their World Juniors evaluation camp. And now, in advance of joining the Kings for Development Camp later this month, he’s signed a three-year Entry Level Contract.
Immediately, this has caused people to ask, ‘What’s next?’
Well, he’ll be headed back to the OHL… eventually.
Although Clarke played the 2020-21 season in Slovakia for Nove Zamky Mikron HC, he wasn’t technically drafted out of Europe. Because the Ontario Hockey League was shut down in 2021 due to safety protocols, Clarke’s European Vacation is essentially not part of his official record. From a ‘prospect rules‘ perspective, he’s categorized as an OHL player — meaning, he is not eligible for the American Hockey League this coming season. In fact, for both the 2021-22 and 2022-23 seasons, it’s either OHL or NHL for the right shot defender.
If you heard Mark Yannetti on our recent Kings Of The Podcast episode talking about Clarke (and if you haven’t, what are you waiting for?), he sure sounded like he thought Clarke may only spend one more year in junior hockey.
In the days following his selection by LA, Clarke himself joined Kings Of The Podcast to share several stories about his background, teammates, and several experiences leading up to the Draft.
Clarke’s schedule for the balance of the year is beginning to come into focus. Next up, he’ll be attending Development Camp with the Kings beginning August 23.
As we noted yesterday, there’s also the possibility he will be included in the big event being planned at Staples Center on Saturday, August 28.
Training camp with the Barrie Colts (OHL) should follow next, before he heads back to LA in preparation for the Rookie Faceoff tournament in Arizona.
Then, the completion of Rookie Camp with the Kings will complete that stretch, which leads into training camp.
Eventually, he’ll find his way back to Barrie for a few months.
Come December, he’ll rejoin Team Canada in time for the WJC — where the Kings will be well-represented across multiple countries.
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