Reading, PA – The Reading Royals of the ECHL Wednesday announced that the organization has renewed its affiliation agreement with the Los Angeles Kings of the National Hockey League and the Manchester Monarchs of the American Hockey League. The Royals have been affiliated with the Kings and Monarchs since the inception of the organization in 2001.
"Our organization is very happy to extend our affiliate agreement with the Reading Royals,” said Los Angeles Kings Assistant General Manager and Manchester Monarchs General Manager Ron Hextall. “Over the past six seasons, the Royals organization and the city of Reading have played key roles in the success of our franchise by giving our prospects a great place to play as they develop their skills and improve their games.”
“We’re excited to continue our affiliation with Los Angeles and Manchester,” said Royals’ General Manager Gordon Kaye. “From the very beginning of the Royals’ organization, our relationship with the Kings and Monarchs has been an important part of our hockey operations structure. Every year our affiliation with Los Angeles and Manchester provides our fans with an opportunity to enjoy watching a number of highly motivated prospects, who are dedicated to improving their games, advancing their careers and winning in Reading. It’s particularly rewarding for those of us within the organization—and also exciting for our fans—to see players like Barry Brust, Yutaka Fukufuji and Shay Stephenson climb through the system and earn a shot in the National Hockey League. We believe that with the renewed and invigorated commitment to winning throughout the Kings’ system, our relationship with Los Angeles and Manchester can only translate into a deeper roster, better hockey, more excitement, and more wins in Reading.”
At various stages of last season, five players under contract with the Kings played for the Royals, including goaltender Yutaka Fukufuji, who last year became the third player in Royals’ history to play for both Reading and Los Angeles in the same season. The others who advanced from the Royals to the Kings within the same season were forward Ryan Flinn (2001-02) and goaltender Mathieu Chouinard (2003-04). Over the course of the team’s history, a total of eight players have gone on from the Royals to play with the Kings, including goaltender Barry Brust and forward Shay Stephenson, both of whom saw time in Los Angeles last year. The others who have gone on to play for the Kings after playing in Reading are Adam Hauser, George Parros, and Jeff Giuliano. Last year, a total of nine players spent time with both Reading and Manchester. Over the course of the six year history of the Royals and Monarchs, forty-five different players have moved through the system and played for both clubs.
The first on-ice session for the Kings’ 2007-08 Training Camp will be Monday, September 10, at the Toyota Sports Center in El Segundo.