EL SEGUNDO, Calif. -- Two years ago the Los Angeles Kings promoted forwards Dwight King and Jordan Nolan from the American Hockey League in the middle of the season and they helped them win the Stanley Cup. This spring that storyline played out again when Tyler Toffoli and Tanner Pearson played prominent roles in the Kings' second championship.
It didn't escape Valentin Zykov and Adrian Kempe, who are years away from the NHL but know how to get there.
"When you see young guys get on the team and help them to win, of course it gives you confidence," Zykov said during Kings development camp. "You just try to follow what they've done … get better every year and try to do the same thing. Everybody wants to make the NHL as fast as they can."
Zykov, 19, and Kempe, 17, are the two biggest names at camp this week, fresh-faced players who might be lining up with Toffoli and Pearson in the coming years. They are big, sturdy power-forward types who fit right in with the Kings' identity.