NHL or juniors - LA Kings Insider

In the time that I’ve been covering the Kings, it’s hard to remember a training camp that has held so much competition for spots, particularly among young players who might be ready to take the jump to the NHL. Brayden Schenn certainly fits into that category.

In an ideal situation, Schenn probably would start this season in Manchester and get a year of pro hockey under his belt. But because of the AHL-CHL arrangement, the 19-year-old Schenn would have to return to his junior team, the Brandon Wheat Kings, for one more season if he doesn’t make the Kings’ roster.

Schenn is in contention for a spot as the fourth-line center, and had a bit of an uneven game in his preseason debut Thursday but did score the Kings’ lone goal in their loss to Phoenix. Schenn said he’s not thinking about a return to the WHL.

“I haven’t put too much thought into junior right now,” Schenn said. “Obviously I’m here to try to make the team. Rules are rules … but I’m just going to try to keep improving day by day. I’m learning a lot from the older guys. Smytty has given me lots of tips, and I’m just trying to pick up on anything. He’s been great to me, and I hope that continues and I just want to get better day by day.”

Schenn scored his goal seven minutes into the third period. Earlier in the game, he had missed on a prime scoring opportunity, but this time he went to the side of the net, took a great pass from Dustin Brown and hit the post with his first attempt but then pushed the puck past Al Montoya on the rebound.

“Brownie made a good move on the defenseman there,” Schenn said. “As soon as I saw that he turned and stopped, I just kind of posted up there and got one crack at it. It hit the post, and I just kind of dove when I saw the puck sitting there. It was a nice pass by Brownie, and I was just glad to finish.”

During the week, coach Terry Murray left open the possibility that a young player such as Schenn or Andrei Loktionov might be able to step in and fill the role of fourth-line center, a role that would allow a young center to develop without as much pressure or heavy minutes. Schenn said that would be an opportunity he would welcome.

“Absolutely,” Schenn said. “I’ve just got to get my feet wet. This is really the first game that I’ve played since last year in the Memorial Cup. It’s been a long time, but I felt better as the game went on. First period, I was a little nervous and I didn’t really make too many plays. I didn’t feel like I struggled, but I thought I could have done more. As the game went on, I felt a lot better, but we didn’t get the win. … It’s nice to score a goal, but the goal would have meant more if the team would have won.”

Schenn missed the summer developmental camp with a knee injury, then missed this month’s rookie camp after he tweaked the same knee, but Schenn has been fine since the start of main training camp — “Knock on wood,” he said — and has been wearing a light brace on the knee for extra support.

“I wore one last year,” Schenn said. “It just gives me extra confidence, to go into the corner and not have to worry about your knee, stuff like that.”

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Adrian Kempe

#9 | 6′ 2″ | 195 lb | Age: 21

Born: September 13, 1996
Birthplace: Kramfors, SWE
Position: LW
Handedness: Left


Kempe was selected by the Kings in the first round (29th overall) in the 2014 NHL Draft.

Alex Iafallo

#19 | 6′ | 185 lb | Age: 23

Born: December 21, 1993
Birthplace: Eden, NY, USA
Position: C
Handedness: Left


Iafallo was signed by the Kings as an unrestricted free agent on April 18, 2017.

Anze Kopitar

#11 | 6′ 3″ | 224 lb | Age: 29

Born: August 24, 1987
Birthplace: Jesenice, SVN
Position: C
Handedness: Left


As the 11th overall pick in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft, Kopitar became the first Slovenian to play in the NHL. Kopitar has spent his entire NHL career with the Kings, and following the 2015–16 season, was named the Kings’ captain. Noted for both his offensive and defensive play, Kopitar was awarded the Frank J. Selke Trophy as the best defensive forward in the NHL in 2016.

Drew Doughty

#8 | 6′ 1″ | 195 lb | Age: 26

Born: December 8, 1989
Birthplace: London, ON, CAN
Position: D
Handedness: Right


Bio: Doughty is a Canadian defenceman who was selected second overall by the Kings in the 2008 Draft. Doughty made his NHL debut in 2008 as an 18-year-old and was named to the All-Rookie Team. He is a two-time Stanley Cup champion with the Kings, a two-time Olympic gold medallist with the Canadian national team, and a Norris Trophy finalist.

Jeff Carter

#77 | 6′ 4″ | 215 lb | Age: 31

Born: January 1, 1985
Birthplace: London, ON, CAN
Position: C
Handedness: Right


Carter began his hockey career playing in the Ontario Hockey League in Canada before joining the AHL and playing for the Philadelphia Flyers. He was then traded to the Colombus Blue jackets before joining the LA Kings in 2012, where he has since won two Stanley Cups with the Kings.

Jonathan Quick

#32 | 6′ 1″ | 218 lb | Age: 30

Born: January 21, 1986
Birthplace: Milford, CT, USA
Position: G
Handedness: Left


Bio: Quick is the current goaltender for the LA Kings and was selected by Los Angeles at the 2005 NHL Entry Draft. Previously, Quick was a silver medalist with USA at the 2010 Winter Olympics. He’s won two Stanley Cup championships with the Kings, along with being the most recent goaltender to be awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy as the Most Valuable Player (MVP) of the 2012 Stanley Cup playoffs.