WJC camps underway; Kempe, Watson, Sharipzyanov notes - LA Kings Insider

We’re still over a month out from Labor Day, but there is hockey being played this week – and several participants will be of interest to Kings fans.

National programs often use this time to hold development/evaluation camps in which their junior teams participate in a mini-tournament. Canada, the Czech Republic and Russia are holding a “World Junior Showcase” in Calgary this week, and several interesting names popped up in Canada’s 4-1 win over Russia on Monday.

Finishing off Nick Merkley’s graceful zone entry and no-look pass with a quick release, Spencer Watson (7th round / 2014) broke a one-one tie with a goal that served as the eventual game-winner:

Kingston Frontenacs v Ottawa 67'sThe 5-foot-9, 170-pound Watson scored 20 goals as part of a 48-point, 41-game season that was derailed by a broken ankle. He was also denied on a close-range attempt off a Mitchell Marner feed, according to Aaron Vickers of NHL.com. Watson will return to OHL-Kingston as a 19-year-old.

Earlier, defenseman Damir Sharipzyanov, who drew notice as an invitee at the Kings’ development camp last month, scored to give Russia the lead 3:52 into the game. Sharipzyanov, who will return to OHL-Owen Sound for his third major junior season, will be worth paying attention to at next month’s rookie camp as an invitee with a quality shot of earning a contract with the club. The 6-foot-2, 203-pound Sharpizyanov totaled nine goals and 34 points with the Attack last season.

Owen Sound Attack v London Knights

Canada will return to action in the World Junior Showcase when they face the Czech Republic on Tuesday evening.

For whatever it’s worth:

Meanwhile, in Lake Placid, the United States, Finland and Sweden national junior teams are again holding their own World Junior evaluation tournament. For the first three days of competition, White and Blue USA teams took on the Swedish and Finnish teams, and now that cuts have been made, a full United States camp team will face Finland twice and Sweden once by Saturday. Sweden and Finland will also face each other.

Bronze Medal - 2015 IIHF World Junior ChampionshipThis means…Adrian Kempe sightings! The Kings’ first round pick in 2014, Kempe’s marathon 2014-15 campaign ended when he hoisted the Calder Cup on the Utica Memorial Auditorium ice on June 13, fresh off a five-game series victory, eight-goal postseason and 10-month season. Back on the ice this week, Kempe is yet to register a point in a camp game – his Swedes are 1-0-1 – while skating on the top line, primarily with Oskar Lindblom and Axel Holmström. Last year, Kempe had four goals and eight points in six World Junior games.

I asked one member of the media at the game about Kempe and received back a “strong on the puck, wicked shot, physical” text. While Kempe might not be the most “physical” player on the ice, he certainly did a good job of weathering a strong, focused dose of the opposition’s heavy play during each round of the Calder Cup Playoffs and saved his most productive hockey for the Final.

Kempe also appeared to absorb a stick up high – as will happen in hockey – but took to Twitter to alleviate any concerns about his well-being.

The 2016 World Junior Championship will take place in Helsinki, Finland between December 26, 2015 and January 5, 2016.

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Adrian Kempe

#9 | 6′ 2″ | 195 lb | Age: 21

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

Bio

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

Alex Iafallo

#19 | 6′ | 185 lb | Age: 23

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

Bio

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

#11 | 6′ 3″ | 224 lb | Age: 29

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

Bio

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.

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Drew Doughty

#8 | 6′ 1″ | 195 lb | Age: 26

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

Bio

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.

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Jeff Carter

#77 | 6′ 4″ | 215 lb | Age: 31

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

Bio

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.

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Jonathan Quick

#32 | 6′ 1″ | 218 lb | Age: 30

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

Bio

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.

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