Welcome to the Los Angeles Kings Prospect Update, a weekly feature highlighting a prospect in the Los Angeles Kings system.
The Kings currently own the league rights of 47 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.
This week’s highlighted prospect is 20-year old Justin Azevedo, currently playing for the Los Angeles Kings AHL Affiliate Manchester Monarchs. The 5-7, 180-pound center from St. Thomas, ON, tallied three goals and one assist in three games this week with the Monarchs. All three of Azevedo’s goals came during Manchester's 5-0 road trip, including two in a 3-2 shootout win over the Grand Rapids Griffins the day before Thanksgiving. In a 2-1 loss to the Hartford Wolf Pack on Nov. 29 Azevedo made a stellar pass to Marty Murray who set up Teddy Purcell for his ninth goal of the season to mark Azevedo’s fourth assist this year. After coming off of a wrist injury which held him out of the Monarch’s first 12 games of the season, Azevedo has eight points in eight games (4-4=8). After the perfect road trip, Manchester is now 9-8-3 with 21 points to take sixth in the Atlantic Division.
“He had a wrist injury and it was really tough for him to be watching all that time. But he got back in and he was a real boost to the team down there,” said Nelson Emerson, Los Angeles Kings Coordinator of Player Development. “Now once he got in the Manchester lineup, he really gave that team a boost offensively. He is great on the power play and I think he helped a lot of the other players down there just because of his playmaking abilities. ”
Selected by the Los Angeles Kings in the 6th round (153rd overall) of the 2008 NHL Entry Draft, Azevedo played for the OHL Kitchener Rangers last season, finishing with 124 points (43-81=124). In addition to his invaluable regular season play, Azevedo was named to the 2008 OHL First All-Star Team, the 2008 Canadian Major Junior All-Star Team and the 2008 Memorial Cup All-Star Team. In addition, the Ed Chynoweth Trophy for leading scorer in the Memorial Cup Tournament went home with Azevedo, along with the title of Canadian Major Junior Player of the Year for 2008.
"He is a really creative player who had a great Junior year last year. He was voted the top Junior player in all of Canada, which is quite an accomplishment. His offensively creativity is definitely his asset; he is very tenacious on loose pucks. For him, and he knows it too, just adjusting to the pro game is his big thing. It will be great for him to be in there for the second half of the season because it is a time in the year when pros become real pros and he is going to have to adjust to that.
"We definitely think he is capable because he has been a great player so far."
Other Los Angeles Kings prospects that had a remarkable week include Teddy Purcell who tallied three goals and three assists in five games with the Monarchs, and Jonathan Quick who stopped both the Portland Pirates and the Chicago Wolves to bring Manchester two more victories.
Click here for the statistics on all of the Los Angeles Kings 2008-09 Prospects.