Welcome to the Los Angeles Kings Prospect Update, a weekly feature highlighting prospects in the Los Angeles Kings system.
The Kings currently own the league rights of 46 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 prospects are and center Andrei Loktionov, playing for the Windsor Spitfires of the OHL and netminder Martin Jones of the WHL Calgary Hitmen.
Loktionov, a first year forward in the OHL from Voskresensk, Russia, profiled here in January, averaged over a point per game in the regular season with Windsor, tallying 66 points (24-42=66) in 51 games. Continuing the trend, Loktionov posted 17 points (4-13=17) in his first seven playoff games with the Spitfires, including a plus-7 rating. After finishing the regular season with 115 points (57-10-1), 14 more than the second-place London Knights, Windsor is currently two wins away from making the Western Conference Championships. The Spitfires play their fifth game in the quarterfinals series tomorrow night against the Plymouth Whalers, who finished 36 points behind the Windsor in the regular season standings.
"[Windsor] lost their first game this round, so obviously the team was looking for the players to step up," said Nelson Emerson, Los Angeles Kings Coordinator of Player Development, "Games two and three, Loktionov was just exceptional. The fact that he was able to get that message and step up to the plate and do these great things for their club is great for us. The reason he went to Windsor was just exactly to play in these types of games and these types of series. The fact that he has stepped up to be a big contributor for them is also a big positive for us. The next step for him now is to continue with this series and make a long playoff run.
"It is going to be a huge part of his development to go through this playoff drive."
Jones, profiled here in January, tried out for the Kings as a free-agent goaltender last summer and earned an entry-level contract with the Kings. After returning to Calgary for his third year as goalie for the Hitmen, Jones had a regular season record of 45-5-3, a 2.08 GAA, a .915 save percentage and seven shutouts. In Calgary's first six playoff games, Jones was nearly flawless with six consecutive wins, a league-leading .961 save percentage and 0.82 GAA. Calgary is currently just one win away from moving on to the Eastern Conference Championships and they have the opportunity to sweep the series tonight as they play Kings prospect Dwight King and the Lethbridge Hurricanes.
"I think that the further the Hitmen go, the better it is for Jones," said Bill Ranford, Los Angeles Kings Goaltending Coach. "Playoffs are a great time to learn how to play in high pressure games. He had a successful regular season and now he gets the chance to learn how to win in those pressure situations. This will help his development as a goaltender."
Other Los Angeles Kings prospects who had a solid week include Thomas Hickey
, who joined the Manchester Monarchs last week and has four points in his first four professional games, including April 4 when he scored his first professional goal in a two-point game (1-1=2) against the Worcester Sharks. Kevin Westgarth
(2-0=2), Matt Moulson (2-2=4) and Trevor Lewis
(2-3=5), three Monarchs who have seen ice time with the Kings this season, each contributed points for Manchester in the team's four games last week as they continued to fight for an Atlantic Division playoff spot.
Click here for the statistics on all of the Los Angeles Kings 2008-09 Prospects. For more information on Kings prospects and for past updates, please check out the Prospect News section here.