Stepan Falkovsky signs three-year ELC - LA Kings Insider

The Kings added a player to their prospect pool with an unexpected signing of Belorussian defenseman Stepan Falkovsky to a three-year entry-level contract. A seventh round draft pick by Calgary in 2016 who signed an AHL/ECHL contract with Stockton last year, Falkovsky totaled 21 goals and 32 points with ECHL-Adirondack in 2016-17 in his first professional season. For the Ottawa 67s one year prior, Falkovsky recorded nine goals and 32 points in 58 games and represented Belarus at the 2016 World Junior Championship, notching a goal and an assist in six games.

Sharing that Assistant General Manager Mike Futa and Director of Amateur Scouting Mark Yannetti scouted Falkovsky through his junior hockey career, General Manager Rob Blake cited his size and potential while adding he came into the team’s radar more recently.

“From my understanding, obviously he has size and six-seven, 220-plus pounds, and he’s a young defenseman, so I think there’s some upside there,” he said. “We looked at some different things in Ontario depth-wise and adding to that, and he kind of fit the bill to take an opportunity on.”

The offensive game really came together at the ECHL level this year for the defenseman, as captured by Diana C. Nearhos in the Glens Falls Post-Star:

Stepan Falkovsky has a rocket of a shot; he made that clear when he hit 99 miles per hour in the hardest shot competition at the all-star game. So it’s unsurprising when he fires off a rocket to score.

He scored one of those on Saturday, but the 6-foot-7, 224-pound defenseman also landed a more finessed wrist shot. Falkovskey showed off a little stick work as he skated in on Elmira goalie Andy Iles and wristed a shot into the upper corner, over Iles’s glove.

It’s something he hasn’t done this year. That’s not to say it surprised anyone on the Adirondack Thunder.

“He has NHL ability,” forward Pete MacArthur said after the Thunder’s 8-2 win. “At that age, he’s just learning how to play the game of hockey, as opposed to just using your skill. You play within a system and then you let your skill shine through and that was a good example of that.”

Writing for CalgaryFlames.com, Torie Peterson shared a thorough scouting report:

“His shot is his greatest attribute and his skill with the puck – he’s very skilled when he’s got the puck. Not only can he shoot but he can make plays in tight areas. He’s a skilled hockey player and the exciting thing is he’s a very large, powerful player at the same time. That makes for a pretty good recipe.”

Falkovsky’s skating is his other major asset. He moves extremely well for a player who stands 6-foot-7 and weighs in at 224 pounds.

“The thing that is really exceptional with him is the use of his edges,” MacLean explained. “He’s a player that has good hip mobility and he can really escape by opening his hips up and using the inside edges of his skates. He’s not clunky for big man. He’s smooth and he’s got that ability to escape.

“Then you combine that with the long reach and some good hands … he can be pretty effective at possessing the puck and finding ways to make his plays, something more effective than a simple chip off the glass.”

There will be competition for minutes on Ontario’s blue line waged by a consortium of players including Falkovsky, Matt Roy, Chaz Reddekopp, Alex Lintuniemi, Zac Leslie and AHL signee Sean Walker and potentially Kurtis MacDermid and Oscar Fantenberg, the latter of whom will vie to earn roles with the parent club.

______________________________________________

Rob Blake, on how he sees Christian Folin fitting in:
I think losing Brayden McNabb in expansion created a hole through our top-seven. I think Christian Folin comes in as a right shot that can fill that void. We also have Oscar Fantenberg, who was here at development camp. Played in the KHL, and I think that gives us some depth throughout the lineup on defense with right and left shots.

Blake, on building the goaltending pipeline with Cal Petersen:
We obviously looked at our necessity in goal, and with Quick and Jack Campbell and not a lot after that, Cal Petersen came into the mix once he notified Buffalo that he would not be returning, and once teams were allowed to contact him, it was one of the teams that he wanted to come to. We gave him the tour here in L.A. and showed him. Billy Ranford, our goalie coach, Mike Futa, Mark Yannetti, they all put a lot of work into a package to explain our development process, our need for goalies throughout our organization and that, and fortunate for us, he chose L.A. That’s a big step, like you said, in filling that need that we had throughout the goaltenders.

Rules for Blog Commenting
  • - No profanity, slurs or other offensive language. Replacing letters with symbols does not turn expletives into non-expletives.
  • - Personal attacks against other blog commenters, and/or blatant attempts to antagonize other commenters, are not tolerated. Respectful disagreement is encouraged. Posts that continually express the same singular opinion will be deleted.
  • - Comments that incite political, religious or similar debates will be deleted.
  • - Please do not discuss, or post links to, websites that illegally stream NHL games.
  • - Posting under multiple user names is not allowed. Do not type in all caps. All violations are subject to comment deletion and/or banning of commenters, per the discretion of the blog administrator.
Alec martinez

#27 | 6′ 1″ | 210 lb | Age: 29

Born: July 26, 1987
Birthplace: Rochester Hills, MI, USA
Position: D
Handedness: Left

Bio

Bio: Martinez was drafted by the LA Kings in the 2007 Draft, while playing for Miami University. He has since become a two-time Stanley Cup champion and the 17th man in Stanley Cup playoff history to score the Cup-winning goal in overtime.

VIEW ALEC MARTINEZ POSTS
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.

VIEW ANZE KOPITAR POSTS
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.

VIEW DREW DOUGHTY POSTS
Tyler Toffoli

#73 | 6′ 1″ | 200 lb | Age: 24

Born: April 24, 1992
Birthplace: Scarborough, ON, CAN
Position: C
Handedness: Right

Bio

Toffoli is a Canadian professional ice hockey forward, drafted by the Kings in the second round of the 2010 Draft. Toffoli scored his first career NHL goal in his second game in a 4–0 victory over the Phoenix Coyotes in 2013. He was also named the 2012–13 AHL All-Rookie Team.
VIEW TYLER TOFFOLI POSTS

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.

VIEW JEFF CARTER POSTS
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.

VIEW JONATHAN QUICK POSTS