Hope everyone is staying safe and healthy in these times. I’m sure it’s been as challenging for you as it has been for me to not be around the rink, but if I’ve learned one thing working in this organization, it’s that if Stutts tells me to stay inside, I’m going to stay inside.
Wise words from the big man 👑
— Ontario Reign (@ontarioreign) March 25, 2020
Should probably have learned more than just that….but I digress. Let’s take a look around the Kings organization and check in on some of the accolades and stories around the prospects.
Kings prospect Jordan Spence was honored not once but twice today, as a finalist for both the QMJHL’s Best Defenseman and the QMJHL’s Best Defensive Defenseman.
Spence, statistically speaking, had a dynamic season offensively with 52 points (9-43-52) from 60 games and was honored for his defensive play as well. The fourth-round selection in 2019 ranked in the Top-5 in the league in assists (second) and points (fourth) by a defenseman, while he led the league with a +49 rating amongst blueliners.
From Jon during preseason –
“Keep a close eye on Spence (2019/4th) this season. The mobile 5-foot-10 defender saw regular time in the main groups rather than Group C as camp progressed and made his NHL preseason debut as an 18-year-old at Staples Center last night. I’d been hearing some good things about him that I’ll expand upon this season.”
What a prediction!
Spence has yet to sign his entry-level contract, but is certainly a candidate to do so at some point. The 19-year-old defenseman would be eligible to begin his career in the AHL during the 2021-22 season.
OHL Coaches Poll
Four LA Kings prospects – Arthur Kaliyev, Jacob Ingham, Akil Thomas, Aidan Dudas – were honored in the OHL’s annual coaches poll. From my write up on LAKings.com –
The Ontario Hockey League announced the results of their coaches polls for the 2019-20 OHL regular season, which saw four LA Kings prospects honored in a variety of categories. Kings draft picks Arthur Kaliyev, Jacob Ingham, Akil Thomas and Aidan Dudas were each recognized in the poll.
The OHL Coaches Poll provides member club coaches with the opportunity to recognize the top three players in 20 different skill categories within their own conference. Here’s how each of the four Kings prospects were honored, and a look at how their 2019-20 campaigns went before the OHL announced the cancellation of its regular season and playoffs.
Should be no surprise to see these players honored. Kaliyev’s goalscoring this season has been widely touted, while Ingham developed into one of the best goaltenders in the Ontario Hockey League. Thomas and Dudas have been impact players in the OHL over the last two seasons, and while one facet of their game isn’t maybe as standout as with other players, it’s nice to see a pair of well-rounded guys be honored for their contributions.
Jacob Ingham, Humanitarian
In addition to the Coaches Poll, Jacob Ingham was honored for his work in the community by the Kitchener Rangers as the winner of the 2019-20 Ted Scharf Humanitarian Award.
Ingham and his family partnered with Hockey Gives Blood to start the Jake Saves Campaign, in which Ingham and his family would donate $4 for every save Ingham made last season when he played with the Mississauga Steelheads. After he was traded to the Kitchener Rangers, in advance of the 2019-20 season, Ingham upped his donation to $5 per save, which was matched by the Rangers organization, leading to a $10 donation made for each save.
Ingham went on to lead the OHL in saves (1501) during the 2019-20 season, which led to a $15,010 to Canadian Blood Services from donations by his family and the Rangers. A very cool initiative, which stemmed from a car accident involving his grandparents in 2018. Both were, thankfully, okay, but his grandmother required several blood transfusions, which led to Ingham’s desire to set up the charity.
Akil Thomas, Mikey Eyssimont and Blake Lizotte all took part in podcast interviews this past week, including Thomas appearing on Spittin Chiclets. Eyssimont joined myself and Cameron Close on the Reign Day Podcast, while Lizotte joined Jesse Cohen on the Kings Men Podcast. Links to all three provided below –
Stay safe and stay inside(r). Talk soon!