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SIZE, GRIT COMING TO KINGS

by Staff Writer / Los Angeles Kings
By Ken Lancastle | Special to LAKings.com

The Los Angeles Kings can look forward to some more physical play over the coming years, as both Colten Teubert, drafted 13th overall in this year’s NHL Entry Draft, and Geordie Wudrick, drafted 88th overall, bring some size and grit to the team.

With Teubert, the Kings can expect a punishing defenseman who does not shy away from physical play. The 18-year-old played last year with the Regina Pats of the Western Hockey League, where he scored 23 points, and added 135 penalty minutes in 66 games.

"I dominate the blue line, and physically, I think I’m strong enough to play in the NHL," Teubert told reporters after being asked what he would bring to the Los Angeles Kings organization.

Teubert was the second defenseman selected by the Kings in the 2008 Entry Draft, after the organization selected Drew Doughty second overall. Teubert admitted that he was surprised to hear his own name called, but he said he is excited to play with a young core of defensive talent.

"I think that we’re going to bring this core up," he said. "We’re young, but nowadays young teams are winning hockey games. I think that gives us an opportunity to be a good team next year, and in the future."

The young defenseman is expected to bring some physical play to the Kings’ defensive core. His former coach in the Western Hockey League described him and his partner as one of the most menacing pairs in the league. Teubert said he plans to bring that style of play into the NHL.

"Just putting fear into other forwards," he said after being asked how he was going to play the defensive zone. "Every time they come into our zone, they know they have to pay a price."

When asked about becoming an impact player so early in his career, Teubert said age would not be a factor.

"It doesn’t matter how old you are; you can still hit when they have the puck," Teubert said. "I think I can do that, it’s one of my skills, and I’m going to bring that to the Los Angeles Kings."

At this year’s NHL Entry Draft, the Kings organization drafted another young player from the Western Hockey League by adding Wudrick. The 18-year-old left-winger played with the Swift Current Broncos last year, and also adds some size and physical play to the Kings team.

"I’m turning myself into a power forward," Wudrick said about his style of play. "I’m a bigger bodied guy that can skate well, that has good hands and good offensive ability. I like to bring a well-rounded game, penalty killing, and I love to throw the body around."

Wudrick and Teubert both played against each other in the WHL, and have known each other since they were kids. Wudrick told reporters that he is excited to play with Teubert, rather than play against him.

"I know Colten is a mean and nasty guy out there," Wudrick said. "We battle each other a lot playing in Swift Current and with him in Regina. I think we’ll have some fun banging some bodies out there."

Like Tuebert, Wudrick said he is excited to see the direction that the Los Angeles Kings organization is taking. One of his favorite players is Anze Kopitar, and Wudrick added that he is excited about the draft selections the Kings have made this weekend.

"They picked two really good defensemen right away this weekend," Wudrick said. "That’s going to be huge for the organization. I know that this draft meant a lot to the team. There’s a good future for the organization over the next couple of years."

For both players, a summer of training and improving their game is what lies in store. Teubert himself is excited about trying to crack the NHL lineup next season. When asked about becoming an impact player so early in his career, Teubert said age would not be a factor.

"It doesn’t matter how old you are; you can still hit when they have the puck," Teubert said. "I think I can do that, it’s one of my skills, and I’m going to bring that to the Los Angeles Kings."

Over the summer, Teubert said he has already added close to ten pounds, and he plans to work out almost every day of the week to get ready for training camp. He is looking forward to the chance to play with veterans, as well as the young defensive talent the Kings organization is bringing onboard.

"Going to Los Angeles, with a young core group of guys that they’ve drafted, it will be cool to see how it all works out," he said.

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