With making the transition from playing at the Junior level to the American Hockey League, a player is expected to encounter some sort of learning curve.
Whatever that curve may be, Andrei Loktionov is playing as if it simply doesn't exist.
Playing in his first season with the Manchester Monarchs, the 19-year-old center currently leads the team in points (14) and assists (9), and is tied for the team lead in goals with five, earning the recognition as LAKings.com's Prospect of the Week.
"A junior player turning pro, obviously there's a little bit of a learning curve, and obviously he's got off to a great start and one we're very happy with," said Nelson Emerson, Los Angeles Kings Director of Player Development.
Last season Loktionov played in the Ontario Hockey League with the Windsor Spitfires, amassing 24 goals and 42 assists for 66 points in 51 games.
Loktionov proved that he was able to produce no matter what the level as he tallied a hat trick and an assist in his first game with the Monarchs, a 6-3 win over the Albany River Rats on Oct. 3.
"He's a real special player," Emerson said. "His ability to be creative offensively, he does that at a very high level. So that's what we're excited about. We saw that in training camp and I think right now he's just on a learning curve. He's only 19 years old so we're real excited about him down the road."
A fifth-round selection (123rd overall) of the Kings in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft, Emerson said his "determination on the puck is what has stood out to both him and the coaches in Manchester."
Citing a relentless work ethic in his off-ice training, Emerson said Loktionov's main focus should be on maintaining that mindset.
"He needs to continue that because as he matures physically, he's just going to get bigger and that's one thing that he needs to keep a concerned effort with," Emerson said.
For now, Loktionov will focus on producing at a high level for a Monarchs team that is currently in first place in the Atlantic Division in the AHL with 22 points (10-3-1-1).
"The best thing is that he's on a team down there that is a good hockey club and we're able to surround him with good players," Emerson said. "I think that makes the transition for him a little easier. So we're happy with that and we're happy with the fact that he's gone down there with that real determined attitude."