Los Angeles Kings prospect Nick Shore signed with the Los Angeles Kings two weeks ago after deciding to forgo his senior season at the University of Denver.
Shore, 20, is the younger brother of Florida Panthers rookie and former Denver Pioneer Drew Shore and the older brother of Quentin Shore, who recently completed his freshman season at Denver. He was selected in the third round of the 2011 NHL Entry Draft.
Instead of being assigned to AHL-Manchester, Shore reported directly to the Kings and will have a year burned off his entry level contract. He’ll become a restricted free agent in the summer of 2015 instead of 2016.
He spoke with LA Kings Insider before taking the ice at Toyota Sports Center upon the conclusion of the Kings’ practice Friday morning.
LA Kings Insider: How did the conversations between your agent and the Kings develop at the end of your season with Denver?
Nick Shore: “Well I think after the year, I definitely knew this was something I was interested in doing. At the same time, it was a tough decision for me. I had a great three years at Denver. But at this point I couldn’t be more excited to join an organization like the L.A. Kings. I’m just ready to get the next this next part of my career going.”
LAKI: Is it a surreal feeling being in a NHL locker room on the verge of the start of the NHL playoffs?
NS: “I think so, for sure. I’ve only been here for a week, and there’s a lot to take in right now. But I’m glad that I’m going to be able to watch basically this whole playoff run and everything, so it’s really exciting.”
LAKI: Has there been any sort of message from the coaching or hockey operations staff?
NS: “Well, I’ve just been here skating and working out and everything. So I think the biggest thing for that is just to keep working hard at everything you do. That message is clear.”
LAKI: Did George Gwozdecky’s firing from Denver have any influence on your decision?
NS: “It was a bit of a surprise, obviously, for Gwoz not to be there the next year, but I ended up making my decision before they named a new coach or anything. From that standpoint, it wasn’t really a huge factor.”
LAKI: Do you have an off-ice relationship with Michael Mersch, Nic Dowd, or any of the other WCHA-based Kings prospects?
NS: “Certainly. I grew up playing with Mersch in Michigan. I also played with (Derek) Forbort. So from that standpoint, I definitely do have a relationship with those guys. I know Dowd pretty well too, and (Kevin) Gravel.
LAKI: How would you describe yourself in a scouting report?
NS: “I’d say I’m just a two-way center. I like playing at both ends of the rink, doing the little things. Just something like that. I try to help out in any way I can.”