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LA Kings Farm System Ranked No. 2 in NHL by Sporting News

Alex Turcotte, Rasmus Kupari and Carl Grundstrom each ranked in the Top 50 Prospects for the 2019-20 season

by LA Kings @LAKings / LAKings.com

The LA Kings farm system has been restocked in a quick and very effective manner, according to the Sporting News.

General Manager Rob Blake placed an emphasis on replenishing the pipeline and the moves he made and draft picks he selected have given the Kings the No. 2 in the Sporting News' NHL Farm System Rankings.

A strong showing at the 2019 NHL Draft and the development of their prior draft selections helped the Kings jump up 22 spots compared to their 2018 ranking.

"No team has done a better job at selecting elite offensive talent without the benefit of multiple top-10 picks than the Kings," Steve Kournianos wrote in his breakdown of the Kings system. "The depth chart is lined with impressive kids taken either late in the first round or immediately thereafter. Slick center Rasmus Kupari was one of the top teenage point producers in the SM-Liiga, and second rounders Akil Thomas (2018) and Arthur Kaliyev (2019) were two of only nine 100-point scorers in the OHL last season."

Sporting News' Top 10 LA Kings Prospects
Prospect
Position
Acquired
Alex Turcotte
C
1st/2019
Rasmus Kupari
C
1st/2018
Carl Grundstrom
LW
Trade: TOR
Akil Thomas
C/W
2nd/2018
Tobias Bjornfot
LHD
1st/2019
Kale Clague
LHD
2nd/2016
Arthur Kaliyev
LW
2nd/2019
Gabe Vilardi
C/W
1st/2017
Cal Petersen
G
FA (BUF 5th/2013)
Mikey Anderson
LHD
4th/2017

Turcotte, Kupari and Grundstrom were also ranked in the Sporting News' Top 50 Prospects.


16. Alex Turcotte, C, LA Kings

Watch: Youtube Video

A turbocharged 200-foot center who plays with physicality and acute attention to detail, Turcotte is exactly the type of pivot the Kings can lean on to help them return to Western Conference dominance. Of course, it may take some time to happen, but otherwise, it's scary to think about what this Wisconsin-bound force will do in college next year with sniper Cole Caufield as a potential linemate. Remember, this is a kid, who with the NTDP, averaged well over a point per game against elite NCAA competition last year and is now the leading candidate to center Team USA's top line at the world juniors.

"When I saw him play, he's got a star quality and we need one of him," Kings Senior Advisor to the General Manager/Development Mike O'Connell said earlier this summer. "He looks like he sees the ice, he's competitive, good hands, goes through traffic, all that stuff that you hope that your player does, and he does it. He's a pretty good package."


No. 30. Rasmus Kupari, C, LA Kings

Watch: Youtube Video

Kupari was one of the top teenage talents in Finland's elite SM-Liiga, where he recorded 33 points in 43 games while playing mostly with Florida prospect Aleksi Heponiemi. A fantastic skater with a deadly shot, he is steadily growing into his 6-1 frame in preparation for the transition to North America. By potentially adding Turcotte and Kupari, it gives the Kings one of the league's premier 1-2 punches in terms of center prospects - although it looks like neither will be expected to make the team out of training camp.

"I think he surprised all of us by how quickly he started to develop," Director of Amateur Scouting Mark Yannetti said of Kupari's game. "His game is just matured. He used a collection of tools last year. He could skate like the wind; his individual skill is excellent … there were very few holes in his game. He kind of rounded it out."


No. 41. Carl Grundstrom, LW, LA Kings

Video: LAK@ARI: Grundstrom lights the lamp in NHL debut

A tough-as-nails winger who can impact the game with his physicality and two-way play in addition to burying the puck, Grundstrom was the key prospect the Kings acquired in the Jake Muzzin trade with Toronto at the deadline. He may not be as flashy as most of the players on this list, but his hard-nosed style and responsible play in his own end were revealed in a successful NHL stint in which he scored five goals in 15 games.

The Kings deep pool of prospects made an impression on the development staff as they took the ice in late June during Development Camp.

Video: In The Pipeline - LA Kings Development Camp

The Kings will announce their Rookie Camp and Training Camp schedules at a later date.

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