Practice Notes: Luff Downloads Development Days and Reign Prepare for San Jose - LA Kings Insider

The Ontario Reign wrapped up their two-day series of development time with the LA Kings staff at Ontario Center Ice Arena today and continued preparations for this weekend’s contests against the San Jose Barracuda at SAP Center on Saturday (1:15) and Sunday (3:00) afternoon.

LA’s Sean O’Donnell and Nelson Emerson worked extensively with the defensemen while Mike Donnelly, Glen Murray and Jarret Stoll ran drills and instruction with the forwards.

After the skate, Head Coach Mike Stothers took the ice for a quick 20-30 minute X’s & O’s session and special teams review.

How They Dressed:
Green – Devane, Iverson, Watson
Purple – Mersch, Hensick, Brodzinski
Grey – Auger, Maillet, Imama
White – Sutter, Luff, Herr
Red – Wagner
White (G) – Zatkoff, Petersen, Campbell
Black – Falkovsky, LaDue, Leslie, Gravel, Lintuniemi, Roy, Walker

Quick skating/flow drills led to extensive power play and penalty kill review with participating units moving into yellow practice jerseys. Following a quick conditioning skate, defenseman Sean Walker led the Reign in the post-practice stretch.

After practice, we caught up with rookie forward Matt Luff on the impact of instructional days and balancing development with in-season preparation.

ORI: You’ve been in camps and practices with the Kings’ Development crew for quite some time, but now you’re juggling in-season professional prep and experiences and development. How valuable are these days to reset and refresh?
Forward Matt Luff: Pretty valuable. They are guys that watch your games and watch your shifts. They break it all down for you and bring stuff you can use for a game and practice. You take it all in and take them for every second you got and ask as many questions as possible.

ORI: As a kid, your parents tell you to not touch the oven burner when it’s hot, but you don’t understand so you touch and learn from experience. What has been a detail the development crew taught you in your junior hockey experiences that you may not have fully understood until you experienced it at the professional level?
Luff: They are big on the “rubber man” and separating from the wall and the defender with the puck. In juniors, you can get away with getting pushed up and squeaking to the sides, but being strong on the wall and popping out opens lanes. That’s a big one, especially playing against older and stronger guys. That’s something I took notice of this year so far.

Kevin Gravel

#4 | 6′ 4″ | 200 lb | Age: 24

Born: DOB: 2/17/1996
Birthplace: KINGSFORD, MI
Position: D


Gravel made his NHL debut with Los Angeles in the 2015-16 season, skating with the Kings for four games before returning to AHL affiliate Ontario.

Rob Scuderi

#0 | 6′ 1″ | 212 lb | Age: 37

Born: DOB: 12/30/1978
Birthplace: SYOSSET, NY
Position: D
Handedness: Left


Scuderi is currently playing for the Reign while under contract with the LA Kings. He has won two Stanley Cups, once with the Pittsburgh Penguins and with the Kings.

Michael Mersch

#27 | 6′ 1″ | 225 lb | Age: 24

Born: DOB: 10/2/1992
Birthplace: PARK RIDGE, IL
Position: LW
Handedness: Left


Drafted by the Kings in 2011, Mersch is currently playing forward for the Reign. Last season, he drew into his first NHL game for the Kings, where he registered 2 shots and 3 hits.

Michael Latta

#24 | 6′ 0″ | 207 lb | Age: 25

Born: 5/25/1991
Birthplace: KITCHENER, ON
Position: F
Handedness: Right


Prior to turning professional, Latta played major junior hockey in the OHL with the Ottawa 67’s and Guelph Storm. He was drafted into the NHL in 2009 and joined the King’s affiliate Reign in 2016.

Adrian Kempe

#09 | 6′ 1″ | 187 lb | Age: 20

Born: 9/13/1996
Position: LW
Handedness: Left


Growing up in Swedan, Kempe made his hockey debut in 2014 in the Swedish Hockey League. He has since been drafted by the Kings, where he is playing for their AHL affiliate team, the Ontario Reign.

Brett Sutter

#07 | 6′ 0″ | 192 lb | Age: 29

Born: 6/2/1987
Birthplace: CALGARY, AB
Position: C


Drafted in 2005 by the Calgary Flames, Sutter was traded to the Reign in 2016. He is the son of LA Kings head couch Darryl Sutter, and the eighth member of the Sutter family to play in the NHL.