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 we are highlighting 21-year old Alec Martinez of the Los Angeles Kings AHL affiliate Manchester Monarchs. Martinez, currently in his first year as a professional hockey player, was drafted by the Kings in the fourth round (95th overall) of the 2007 NHL Entry Draft. This week Martinez tallied two points (1-1=2) including a game winning goal on Dec. 5 against the Worcester Sharks, when the 6’1”, 214-pound defenseman found the back of the net off a pass from Brian Boyle. His assist the next night on a pass to fellow Kings prospect Drew Bagnall against the Springfield Falcons brought Martinez’s season total to five points (2-3=5) in 20 games with Manchester.
“Alec is coming out of college, so becoming a pro is a big step for him this year” said Kings Coordinator of Player Development and Systems Integration Nelson Emerson. “It’s tough for college kids to come out right away and get used to the pro game. So that’s what he has had to deal with these first three or four months. One of things that’s great about him is that he really wants to learn-like all of them- but he is a kid who spends a lot of time asking questions and a lot of time trying to learn the pro game and what will help him be better.”
Prior to joining the Monarchs, Martinez played for Miami University, registering 32 points (9-23=32) in his final year with the Red Hawks. Named the 2008 Central Collegiate Association Defenseman of the Year, Martinez was also a member of the CCHA First All-Star team last year, further proof of the Kings dedication to the increasing depth of the blueline.
“One great thing about Manchester is that the coaches, Mark Morris and Scott Pellerin, are really focused on developing those young players, so it is a really big benefit to [Martinez]. With Alec, he always makes plays with his head up which is a real positive for him. He gets pucks, turns and comes out of his own end.
"His ability to make that first pass is really good.”
As featured here on LAKings.com, two other Los Angeles Kings defensive prospects, Colten Teubert and Thomas Hickey, were invited last week to attend Canada’s National Junior Team selection camp from December 11-14. Both players have a good chance to represent Canada at the 2009 IIHF World Junior Championships, while Hickey, the Kings No. 1 draft pick in 2007, is one of just four returning players from the 2008 Gold Medal winning Canada National Junior Team.
"The fact that he has been there before, he needs to put it on himself to be a real leader" Emerson said about Hickey's expected performace. "He needs to have a good camp next week and he needs to show them that he is ready for the task, ready to stand up and lead the team in this tournament.”
Notable performances were given this week by Los Angeles Kings defensive prospect Josh Meyers, who extended his scoring streak to seven games with the University of Minnesota-Duluth Bulldogs and Bryan Cameron, who racked up five goals and two assists in three games with the OHL Belleville Bulls.
Click here for the statistics on all of the Los Angeles Kings 2008-09 Prospects.