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by Staff Writer / Los Angeles Kings
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Reading, PA – The Reading Royals of the ECHL, affiliate of the Los Angeles Kings of the National Hockey League and the Manchester Monarchs of the American Hockey League, announced that the team has acquired the rights to defenseman James Laux ("LOUHX") and center Kris Kasper ("KASS-puhr") from the Utah Grizzlies, completing the future considerations provision in a trade that sent forward Ryan Kinasewich to Utah last November.

It had been announced yesterday that the Royals had received defenseman Scott Basuik as a part of this transaction. However, late yesterday, the league rescinded the trade for Basuik, and the Royals have now acquired the rights to Laux.

Laux, a twenty-six year old fourth year pro from Cherry Hill , New Jersey , was selected to represent Utah at the ECHL All-Star game in Frenso this past season. However, the 6'2"/210 pound defenseman suffered an injury which not only kept him from playing in the All-Star game but also limited him to just sixteen games for Utah, during which he racked up eighteen points (6g – 12a = 18pts). A former member of the Philadelphia Little Flyers Junior B team, Laux started his pro career with the Philadelphia Phantoms, picking up seven points in twenty three games in 2003-04.

He also played seven games with the Trenton Titans that year. Two seasons ago, Laux scored ten goals and picked up twenty-two points in fifty six games with the Wheeling Nailers. Prior to turning pro, Laux played two seasons with Colorado College, racking up 22 points in 36 games in 2002-03, while leading the school to a Western Collegiate Hockey Association regular season championship and the quarter-finals of the NCAA Frozen Four. Laux won an Avanet Cup with the Weyburn Red Wings of the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League in 2001 and was also selected as the best defenseman in the Royal Bank Cup playoffs that season. Kasper, a third year pro from Gibbons, Alberta, played thirty-three games with the Grizzlies last season, scoring three goals and adding four assists and picking up 80 penalty minutes.

Kasper also scored a goal in one of the two playoff games he played for the Grizzlies this year. In his rookie year with the Peoria Rivermen (then in the ECHL), Kasper racked up seventeen points and 201 penalty minutes in 51 games. As a junior, Kasper was a member of the Humboldt Broncos of the Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League, who won the prestigious Royal Bank Cup Championship as the Junior A Canadian National Champions in 2003.

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