The LA Kings are 48 hours away from departing to Australia and we’ve formally got the group that’s going.
Training Camp 2023 will have a different structure and vibes to years past. Typically, the Kings have opened up as one group, with no overlapping, with the group slowly dwindling down in size until the opening-night roster was officially formed. This season will be a bit different, both in structure and in hemisphere. With the Kings participating in the Global Series in Melbourne, a selected group of players are set to travel overseas, overlapping on the front end with the Rookie Faceoff in Vegas and on the backend with a secondary group of players who will skate in El Segundo, beginning next week.
The Australia group was announced today, featuring the usual suspects. Headlining the list are the organization’s captains – Anze Kopitar, Drew Doughty and Phillip Danault – as well as other key players. The Australia roster is meant to be close to what the opening-night roster will look like and the Kings are treating it as such. We don’t know exactly who will be on the roster for Game 1, but the bulk of players in the mix will be on the plane to Australia this weekend. That’s not to say the players in contention will be limited to that group, however. Players not on the Australia trip will have 3-4 exhibition games to showcase themselves and their abilities early in training camp. It’s likely that there will be standouts from that group who will still be on the radar even after the Australia group returns to California. There will be opportunities there to make an impact and several talented players who will be eager and willing to do so. That will play out on the ice, however.
For the group that is going to Australia, the Kings are bringing a total of 28 players on the trip. That group is broken down into 16 forwards, nine defensemen and three goaltenders, meaning the Kings will have a few options for that first week or so of training camp. Included in the 28 are 22 players who played NHL games with the Kings last season and 27 players in total who played NHL games. Naturally, the Day 1 roster will only have 21 or 22 players on it, meaning there are battles to be conducted, starting with the practices in Australia.
The full roster for Australia is shown below –
The full roster is also linked HERE.
The players touched on in those articles, for the most part, are the players who make up this roster. We’ll get our first glimpse on the ice of the Kings centers all playing together for the first time. We’ll get our first glimpse at how the Kings opt to organize their wingers around those centers. We’ll get our first glimpse at the defensive pairings and what the Kings have in mind for combinations for the third pair, behind an established top four. We’ll get a look at all three goaltenders, with an open competition for the net ahead of us. So many storylines for this iteration of the LA Kings and it’ll be exciting to see this group get underway in Australia.
Then there’s the actual Australia side of this trip. An unbelievable experience for those involved, getting to experience a place like Australia for a week. Playing in a historic venue like Rod Laver Arena, the Kings will get to experience something that no other team has done and they’ll do so alongside their teammates, a terrific team-bonding opportunity early in training camp. There will be plenty of off-ice activities and content to report here throughout the week and we’ll have a first-person vantage point of everything Australia on LAKI.
Looking ahead, this group departs on Saturday, September 16, with the first day of on-ice training camp coming in Melbourne on what will be Tuesday, September 19 in Australia / Monday, September 18 here in California. It’ll be a doozy to keep track of those time-zone differences, but our coverage plan for camp is to report everything in real time. Morning skates in Australia will be evening reports for those in LA, but the timing should align each day so that coverage is still coming at reasonable hours. We’ll certainly work towards that being the case!
Additionally, expecting another piece of news to come later this afternoon, that you will all be interested in. Stay tuned!