We know you’re busy, so let’s help catch you up on some of the Kings news, notes, and nonsense that perhaps was missed over the past few days. Using our popular 10 Tidbits format, here’s all the latest info you need to know, not only about LA, but the hockey world as a whole:
1. Stats, stats, and more stats. Sports fans love them, so keep an eye on an upcoming milestone. It wasn’t that long ago that Dave Taylor sat atop the LA Kings list for most games played in franchise history (1,111). First, Dustin Brown passed him in 2019.
Here’s what Taylor had to say about that:
Kings captain Anze Kopitar eventually passed Taylor, as well, and then recently leapfrogged over Brown to take the top spot. This Saturday, defenseman Drew Doughty will tie Taylor’s mark of 1,111 games played in a Kings sweater. That will put Kopitar, Brown, and Doughty as the top three players in games played with Los Angeles. It’s quite the accomplishment for the ‘Big 3’… and rather fitting that Taylor actually drafted two of them during his time as General Manager with the club.
2. Who else is on that list of all-time games played? The rest of the Top 10 are: Luc Robitaille, Marcel Dionne, Rob Blake, Mattias Norstrom, Jonathan Quick, and Butch Goring. And then there’s Trevor Lewis. He currently sits at 689 games played, just 47 back of Goring. If all goes right this year, he will end this season in 10th place. Not too shabby for a guy who has spent the bulk of his career in a support role on the fourth line.
3. One more quick stats note, as there was quite a bit of confusion recently surrounding ‘Swedish born’ players. Guys like Tomas Sandstrom weren’t born there, even though they played for Sweden in international competition.
4. In some rather sad news, former Kings goalie Roman Cechmanek passed away at the age of 52. He broke into the league as a 29-year-old with the Flyers, where he was runner-up for the Vezina Trophy as a rookie. After sharing the Jennings Trophy in 2002-03, he was acquired by Los Angeles that summer for a second-round pick. Cechmanek ultimately only played one season in LA before returning to Europe and finishing out his career.
“He was highly successful and made an instant impact to our club on the ice and in the locker room,” Flyers president Keith Jones said in a statement. “Beyond his numbers, which were outstanding, he was beloved by fans and teammates for his personality, distinct style and pride in stopping the puck.”
No cause of death has been reported. However, the IIHF shared that he was scheduled to play hockey with friends on Sunday, but canceled because he wasn’t feeling well.
5. With a lot of eyes currently focusing on where Patrick Kane may end up, he isn’t the only guy looking for a new home:
Nikita Zadorov from Ottawa following a 4-1 loss on his trade request that became public on Friday night:
“That was (my agent’s) decision to make that tweet. He wants the best opportunity for (me)."
Says he supports the decision and hopes his teammates can understand. #Flames
— Pat Steinberg (@Fan960Steinberg) November 12, 2023
6. World Junior camp announcements are coming very soon. Who is likely to receive consideration from the LA prospect pool? Unlike the past few seasons, where the Kings were among the top NHL teams represented, they’re likely only sending a few this time around.
Jakob Dvorak (2023, second round) was wearing an ‘A’ for the Czechia team at the 5 Nations U-20 tournament. Meanwhile, Salin was captain for Team Finland at the same event. Both are expected to play at the upcoming World Juniors and will likely be wearing letters again.
7. Bringing it back to North America, another Kings selection from this past summer’s Draft, forward Koehn Ziemmer (pictured above), is at least in consideration for Team Canada — especially considering he attended their summer evaluation camp. However, we wouldn’t consider him a lock. The 18-year-old may have to wait until next year, despite coming off of 30 and 41 goal campaigns with Prince George (WHL). He isn’t slowing down this year either, thus far he’s put up 24 points (7G, 17A) in 16 games played for the Cougars.
He also had a four-point outing just a few nights ago:
— The Armchair Scout (He/Him) (@Davidenkness) November 15, 2023
Ziemmer celebrated by signing his three-year Entry Level Contract with the Kings earlier today. That will most likely kick in next season, when he can either turn pro or return to the WHL for his over-age year.
Two more 2023 draftees, goalie Hampton Slukynsky and forward Ryan Conmy, would have to be considered longshots for Team USA right now. If it’s optimism you like, keep an eye on the former. He was invited to Team USA’s summer evaluation camp and is currently 6-0 with a 1.94 goals against average tending net as a rookie for USHL Fargo.
BTW – if you don’t know Slukynsky’s backstory, make sure you check out the link at the end of this article. It’s well worth your time.
8. In other Kings prospect news, it’s always fun to take a peak at the weekly polls. This year, the Kings have more collegiate players than usual and they’re well represented in the top 20. Here’s how things looked when this week’s poll came out on Monday:
No. 3 – Denver (forward Jared Wright, drafted in 2022)
No. 8 – Boston (forward Jack Hughes, 2022)
No. 13 – New Hampshire (forward Ryan Conmy, 2023)
No. 15 – UMass (forward Kenny Connors, 2022)
Not Ranked – UMass Lowell (defenseman Ben Meehan, 2020)
Not Ranked – Northeastern (defenseman Brayden Doyle, 2019)
9. Many of those prospects can be seen on TV too! This past Wednesday, Meehan and UMass Lowell were televised. Then, just yesterday, Connors and UMass had a game broadcast. What’s coming up this weekend?
Friday, Nov. 17
Maine vs. Boston (Hughes) — 4pm on ESPN+ and NESN
New Hampshire (Conmy) vs. Northeastern (Doyle) – 4pm on ESPN+
Saturday, Nov. 18
Providence at UMass (Connors) — 1pm on ESPN+
Maine vs. Boston (Hughes) — 3pm on ESPN+
New Hampshire (Conmy) vs. Northeastern (Doyle) – 4pm on ESPN+
10. And speaking of TV, Saturday night will mark the first time hockey is back on KCAL 9 since 1999. Kings games aired on Channel 9 (then called KHJ-TV) from 1967-1985 and again during their final season at The Forum 1998-99 season. This will be the first of six games on KCAL this season, all on Saturday nights except the last Kings-Ducks game of the year, which will be played on Tue., April 9 in Anaheim.
If you missed last week’s Tidbits, they’re linked below for your reference.
Lead photo via Daniel Stopani
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