The Los Angeles Kings signed Corey Elkins
to a one-year contract yesterday after the 24-year old center completed his senior season with The Ohio State University.
In 42 games as a Buckeye in 2008-09, Elkins had a team-leading 41 points (18-23=41), 18 penalty minutes and shared the team lead with a plus-24. The 6-2, 215-pound native of West Bloomfield, Mich. had better production this year than his previous two seasons with OSU combined, as Elkins had five points in 25 games in 2007-08 and 14 points in 26 games during 2006-07.
"Getting the call to come play for the Kings was amazing," said Elkins, "I was extremely excited. Going through the process I really wanted to come to Los Angeles. I have been following the team pretty closely, I try to keep track of everyone. I have been watching the NHL for quite a while now so I am extremely excited to be here."
In four years at OSU, Elkins recorded 60 points (27-33=60) and 40 penalty minutes in 102 games, culminating in a playoff berth before the team was eliminated last weekend.
"I got a bigger role this year [with OSU] and the coaches gave me a lot more ice time right off the bat. I focused on playing good defense, being a center it is a big responsibility to help out your defenseman. It immediately translated into scoring some goals because we spent less time in our defensive zone. It felt like everybody was pretty close knit all through the season and I think that helped us have a good year all together."
A four-time Ohio State Scholar-Athlete and three-time Academic All-Big Ten choice, Elkins added to his list of academic achievements when he became a CCHA scholar-athlete this season. Elkins joins the Kings after completing his Bachelor’s degree in history in December, a full semester early.
"I stayed during one summer to make sure that I got extra credits in so that I could finish right at the end of our season. It worked out really nicely and now I don’t have to worry about finishing anything up."
Elkins was also given the 2007 Coaches Award for his hard work and determination to rehab from two separate injuries suffered in his freshman and sophomore years.
"The injuries are pretty much healed now. I tore my ACL my freshman year and I recovered from that really well to be back right there in the beginning of the next season. I broke my elbow one year, but that only took about a month and I was fine, right back in it.
"You have to go through a little pain to get past an injury but I am good now and it helped me get a little tougher."
Elkins skated in his first practice with the Kings on Wednesday.
"I feel good. I had a few butterflies there and the beginning but I shook those out pretty quickly and had a good practice. Everybody has been incredibly nice, introduced themselves so I feel pretty at ease and that helped out a lot on the ice."
Elkins will travel with the Kings to Phoenix tonight.
"It is going to be pretty cool to travel with the guys, I am really excited to go on the road with them."
KINGS PROSPECT UPDATE
The Kings currently own the league rights of 45 players outside of the NHL, including Professional players in Europe, Junior players and players in college. Click here to see the 2008-09 LA Kings Prospect Roster.
The Los Angeles Kings prospects who had great a week Manchester Monarchs net minder Jonathan Bernier, who was named the Reebok X-Pulse/AHL Goaltender of the Month for March after posting a 6-5-1 record with a 1.97 goals-against-average, a .927 save percentage and two shutouts. Fellow Monarchs Justin Azevedo (2-1=3) and Gabe Gauthier (1-2=3) each posted three points this week, while Vladimir Dravecky, the only Monarch to play in all 73 games this season, scored a goal.
With his Junior teams in the playoffs, Dwight King had a chance to shine for the Lethbridge Hurricanes, posting four assists in four games. Andrei Loktionov, frequently mentioned in these updates, continued to produce offensively, tallying three assists in one game for the Windsor Spitfires.
Click here for the statistics on all of the Los Angeles Kings 2008-09 Prospects. For more information on Kings prospects and for past updates, please check out the Prospect News section here.