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 19-year old Dwight King, currently playing for the Lethbridge Hurricanes of the WHL. The 6-1, 220-pound center had a breakout week with the Hurricanes, contributing five goals in the last three games. During Lethbridge’s 5-3 win over the Edmonton Oil Kings on Nov. 16, King had bookend goals, scoring the first and fifth, earning himself the Third Star of the game. Two days earlier King tallied the only two goals for the Hurricanes in a 4-2 loss to the Kootenay Ice, scoring once on the power play. On Nov. 12, while Lethbridge struggled in a 5-2 loss to the Spokane Chiefs, King had an unassisted goal in the third period. His recent scoring has brought King up to 25 points this season (11-14=25) in 20 games.
“I had the chance to go out there and stay with him this year about a month ago, and one of the things that jumps out at you about King is the fact that his puck possession and puck skills are at a very high level, ” said Nelson Emerson, Los Angeles Kings Coordinator of Player Development. “When he gets the puck offensively it is very hard for the other team to get it away from him. His puck protection is very good.”
Selected by the Los Angeles Kings in the 4th round (109th overall) of the 2007 NHL Entry Draft, King is currently in his fourth full season with the Lethbridge Hurricanes. While currently fifth in the Central Division, last season the Hurricanes went all the way to the WHL Championship Finals to earn their first Eastern Conference Championship banner in 11 years. King contributed to that winning team with 69 regular season points (34-35=69) and 14 points (8-6=14) during the playoffs.
“What he needs to work on, and we have been communicating a lot with him about this, is that when he reaches his high level of puck protection, he needs to maintain that. We just want to make sure that when he gets to that level he sustains it. A lot comes into play there because he needs to stay athletic, he needs to stay strong on pucks and he needs to do it for the duration of the game. Every time he plays he needs to keep that in mind. As for the future, he needs to finish off his season up in Lethbridge, and they should have a good season, and we are going o be following him extremely closely till the end.
"He has been a great junior player, and we would expect that he would move on to be a good solid pro. It’s all up to him, really."
Click here for the statistics on all of the Los Angeles Kings 2008-09 Prospects.