The LA Kings' 2018 Fantasy Camp has officially come to an end, but oh was it a lively and memorable week. The annual camp started on Wednesday February 21, when campers began arriving at Toyota Sports Center in the late afternoon to pick up their personalized gear and sticks provided by Warrior. Little did they know what was in store.
Drinks awaited them while they mingled with LA Kings Alumni before heading downtown to Team LA, where the campers were able to pick out some Kings gear to take home.
The Fantasy Camp Official Draft Party took place at Fogo De Chao and was hosted by LA Kings color commentator and alumni, Jim Fox. "The draft party was something that we knew was important as it was the first event of camp and would set the tone for the rest of the week. The campers presented the alumni they drafted with their jersey and ate together as a team," said Drew Solomon, Events Account Executive.
Following morning practice, a 3 on 3 tournament broke out and players were able to develop some chemistry with their teams and get to know each other.
After the teams' first games, they headed to STAPLES Center to watch the Kings take on the Dallas Stars.
Each team played multiple games throughout the day on Friday in the fight for the Fantasy Camp Cup. Much to the campers' delight, LA Kings Alumni Jarret Stoll, Sean O'Donnell and Luc Robitaille came out and played in the afternoon.
Following the games, campers were given a tour of the LA Kings locker room and training facilities at Toyota Sports Center.
After working up an appetite, campers headed over to Pedones in Hermosa Beach for a hot dinner and Q&A with LA Kings alumni.
Former LA Kings Broadcaster and Hall of Famer Bob Miller hosted the exciting event and all attendees told stories, reminisced and bonded over food and drinks for the rest of the night.
When Saturday came, campers hopped on the bus and headed back down to STAPLES Center for a pregame meal. Following the meal the campers took a tour of the Kings locker room with LA Kings alumni and radio color commentator Daryl Evans.
The time for the final puck drop came and Teams 1 and 2 took the ice at STAPLES Center. Each team lined up and lineups were announced with the national anthem following. After a hard fought battle, Team 2 won in a shootout and took home third place. Teams 3 and 4 took the ice and the championship had begun. Team 3 took home the championship in a nail-biter, and ended the 3-year winning streak of LA Kings alumni, Derek Armstrong.
"Our alumni play a huge role in fantasy camp and the campers have a ton of fun lining up with them on the ice, while socializing off the ice. It was great to provide our campers with an elite experience playing at STAPLES. We added intermission, pre game and post interviews, play-by-play recording, and ice crew ice shoveling. It is our goal to make sure they walk away with a first-class experience." said Cody Von Rueden, Coordinator of Lil Kings & Events.
After Team 3 hoisted the Fantasy Camp Cup, the presitigious Fantasy Camp awards ceremony was held. The winning team received an LA Kings signed sticks, and individual awards were given to campers who went above and beyond throughout the week.
Campers were then given a few hours of free time to explore LA Live, and returned that night for a VIP suite experience for the game against the Edmonton Oilers.
Video: LA Kings Alumni - Fantasy Camp 2018
Courtney Ports, Hockey Development Manager, added, "This year's fantasy camp brought the camp to new heights. A big thanks to our Alumni for being great all week long and to a great group of Fantasy Campers. We had people from all over Southern California and as far as Canada. They were an amazing group and I know I speak for our staff when I say we enjoyed working with each and every one of the campers. We expect 2019 Fantasy Camp to bring even more and are excited to get to work planning it."