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MAKING A NAME FOR HIMSELF

by Staff Writer / Los Angeles Kings

By Kim Mueller

Los Angeles Kings left wing Jeff Giuliano began his hockey career on the ice in New Hampshire over 20 years ago. The native of Nashua attended the famed St. Paul’s School in Concord for high school to improve his skills while gaining an education. Following graduation, Giuliano remained local and spent his college years at Boston College.

His first professional hockey season was split between the ECHL’s Reading Royals and the Manchester Monarchs. Giuliano’s style of play is not known for putting up numbers on the scoreboard but as an energy guy who brings momentum to the ice and drills the opponent into the boards with body checks.

Just like every other hockey players that has grown up playing the sport and turns pro, Giuliano dreamed of making it to the National Hockey League. While playing in his fourth season with the Monarchs, his dream came true. Giuliano made his NHL debut with the Kings when they played the Nashville Predators on November 5, 2005. He scored his first NHL goal against the Calgary Flames on December 21, 2005. Not only did Giuliano make his debut during the 2005-06 season, he played in 48 games with the Kings.

A full-time spot on the Kings roster was not handed to Giuliano, he had to earn it. At the beginning of the 2006-07 season, he started the season in Manchester and was diagnosed with a sports hernia. Just when he thought he made the big show, Giuliano was plagued with the worst injury of his hockey career to date.

“I was on such a high two years ago after playing over half the season with the Kings,” said Giuliano. “But last year I hit rock bottom. I had never been injured before let alone needed surgery. The hardest part was staying mentally focused. I was able to come back and play in the playoffs with Manchester and prove to the Kings organization that I was back.”

Following a rough 2006-07 season where Giuliano played in only 35 regular season games with the Monarchs and 16 in the playoffs, the Kings gave him another chance and signed him to another contract on June 29, 2007. He began this season with the Monarchs but has been in Los Angeles since December 10, 2007.

“My first game with the Kings this season felt like my first NHL game all over again,” explained Giuliano. “Two years ago, I was just happy to make it and play in the NHL. This year, I’m happy to be here but want to help the team win games. I bring energy to the ice and work hard on the penalty kill. I feel more valuable to the team this year.”

Giuliano is living his dream as a member of the Los Angeles Kings. As a guy that has put his time in and worked hard to make it to the NHL, he helps the younger guys out when they are called up from Manchester.

“They are really excited to get the call and play in a Kings uniform as we all are but I try to remind them that it’s a learning process,” said Giuliano. “We can’t control what management decides but we can work hard and do our part. I joke around with the guys like Boyle, Purcell and Harrold and tell them that they’ll be here for 15 years and that I’ll be asking them for tickets.”

Always a team player, Giuliano is happy to be in Los Angeles but does admit that he’s more of an East Coast guy.

“I don’t miss the weather in Manchester right now, I like the beach” joked Giuliano. “I do miss my family and friends and my Manchester teammates and fans. I live near the beach so that’s similar to the East Coast but the lifestyle is more fast-paced out here. It was a bit of a culture shock when I first came out here two years ago but I’ve begun to settle in.”

Giuliano has proven himself not only to the Kings but to the hockey world that he plays a vital role on any team. Our native of Nashua, New Hampshire, has earned a permanent role on the Kings roster through hard work, focus and perseverance. One thing is for sure, he will always remember where he comes from and how he got to the NHL.

“Thank you to all of my fans in Manchester! I miss you guys and without your support and generosity, I wouldn’t be where I am today! You are the best fans a player could have in their corner!” - Giuliano

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