Kings taking part in six-team Vegas rookie tournament (+ old photos) - LA Kings Insider

As foretold last month, lo, it has come to be:

The Kings are one of six teams to take part in the round robin tournament, which will be held from Saturday, September 8 to Tuesday, September 11 at the Vegas Golden Knights’ practice facility, City National Arena. Los Angeles will face Anaheim at 5:00 p.m. on September 8, Arizona at 3:00 p.m. on September 9 and Vegas at 2:30 p.m. on September 11. San Jose and Colorado are also participating.

The schedule:

Saturday, Sept. 8
Game 1 – ARI vs. SJS, 3 p.m. PT
Game 2 – LAK vs. ANA, 5 p.m. PT
Game 3 – COL vs. VGK, 7 p.m. PT

Sunday, Sept. 9
Game 1 – LAK vs. ARI, 3 p.m. PT
Game 2 – COL vs. ANA, 5 p.m. PT
Game 3 – VGK vs. SJS, 7 p.m. PT

Monday, Sept. 10
Practice day, no games.

Tuesday, Sept. 11
Game 1 – ANA vs. ARI, 11 a.m. PT
Game 2 – SJS vs. COL, 11:30 a.m. PT
Game 3 – LAK vs. VGK, 2:30 p.m. PT

The tournament, dubbed the 2018 Vegas Rookie Faceoff, is expected to rotate in coming years. Irvine’s Great Park Ice and Fivepoint Arena, a massive rink complex featuring a 2,500-seat arena that is expected to open in late 2018, will host next year’s tournament. Last year, San Jose hosted Anaheim, Arizona and Colorado for a similarly formatted four-day event.

Before the more recent rookie game series – L.A. rookies faced Arizona in 2011, 2014, 2015 and 2016, Anaheim in 2013 and Vegas in 2017 – players like Anze Kopitar, Trevor Lewis, Jonathan Bernier and Yutaka Fukufuji participated in the Pacific Division Shootout between 2003 and 2006. The Kings also faced the Ducks in a rookie game in 2002 that was played without fighting, “otherwise these kids are going to pound on each other,” according to then-Los Angeles coach Andy Murray. (Several Kings-Coyotes games did get awfully testy.) Via the LA Times, among those who participated in the 2002 game were Michael Cammalleri, Yanick Lehoux, Jared Aulin and Kip Brennan of the Kings and Stanislav Chistov, Alexei Smirnov, Ilya Bryzgalov and Cam Severson of the Ducks.

Derek Forbort, Michael Mersch, Roland McKeown, Nick Shore, Scott Sabourin via Christian Petersen/Getty

Under Dean Lombardi, the team did not extend its participation in rookie tournaments because of the value placed in developing players through the team’s own practices and development days. Then, the team preferred the prospects focus more on their own work and development, lest they get starry-eyed by the major, prospect-laden, fan-attended tournaments. But there will always be value placed in applying instruction to game situations, and whether in Penticton, Traverse City or London, Ontario, these prospect tournaments have allowed for efficient player evaluation.

Rookie camp participants will suit up for the Kings at the Vegas tournament, but actual lineups won’t be revealed until game days. At development camp last month, the Kings got a good push from a line that included Mikey Eyssimont, Gabriel Vilardi and Jaret Anderson-Dolan. And, of course, if we’re starting to speculate about rookie game line combinations on July 27, well, that’s probably an indication that this story is running a bit long.

Ticketing and broadcasting information will be announced at a later date.

Photos from the 2006 tournament:

Robert Laberge/Getty Images

Jeff Gross/Getty Images

Robert Laberge/Getty Images

-Lead photo via Jon Bradley

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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.