Development Camp Day 3 Recap – Scrimmage Notes + Murray Analyzes Three-Day Event

Development Camp 2024, is in the books.

LA Kings prospects hit the ice for six on-ice sessions over the course of the three-day camp, ending with the second and final scrimmage on Wednesday afternoon. The players split up into two sides – Team Black and Team White – with the latter skating to a 3-1 victory.

The first half of the scrimmage was a 30-minute session. The bulk of the game was played 5-on-5, though the teams dropped down to 4-on-4 in the final few minutes.

Team White included 2024 first-round selection Liam Greentree, along with draft picks Ryan Conmy, Jared Wright, Angus Booth and Matthew Mania. On Team Black were second-round selections Jakub Dvorak (2023) and Jack Hughes (2022), as well as forwards Koehn Ziemmer and Kaleb Lawrence.

Conmy was the most noticeable player in the first half of play. Was on the puck as regularly as anyone both as a distributor and as a shooter. Was involved in Team White’s two best chances of the first half, setting one up into the slot off the rush and positioning himself in the slot to receive a pass from Jared Wright, which was narrowly kept out.

Lawrence scored the lone goal from the first half of the scrimmage, as he worked his way to the net and finished just outside the crease, past goaltender Jackson Parsons. Lawrence was the biggest player on the ice so seeing him in that area was not surprising. Ziemmer picked up an assist on the play, with Team Black taking a 1-0 lead into the ice cut at the intermission. For Team Black, goaltender Samuel St-Hilaire kept clean sheet in the first half in goal.

In the second half, Conmy evened the score less than a minute after the restrt. The University of New Hampshire forward worked his way into the offensive zone and beat goaltender Eric Lacroix clean with a wrist shot off the rush to tie the game at one goal apiece. Camp invitee Parker Berge broke the tie late in the second half with a nice individual effort, as he weaved around a couple defensemen and snapped a shot from the slot into the back of the net. Forward Jackson Jutting scored the third goal, an empty netter, while goaltender Jonas Stettmer was unblemished for Team White.

*Forwards Francesco Pinelli and Kenny Connors did not skate in the Day 3 scrimmage due to injuries. Per Kings Director of Player Personnel Glen Murray, both could have skated, but any potential re-aggrevation was not worth a potential setback, so they were held off the ice. Not thought to be serious in either situation.

Photo by Gary A. Vasquez/NHLI via Getty Images

In total, there were a number of standouts from a camp that looked a bit different than what we’ve seen over the last few years. Typically, Development Camp is a five-day event, with more opportunities to do things away from the rink, but this year it was a three-day event in total, with a ton of teaching, learning and playing jammed into those three days.

“There’s a lot of teaching, the guys do a lot of teaching,” Murray said. “They do strength and conditioning, then they have their meetings, that’s why we separated it, forwards and D, so they can focus on certain things those three days. Even though it’s short, sometimes these kids can’t take a lot in, they can take two or three things in at once. If you try to feed them like 15 things, they’re gone, so we try to emphasize how important these certain fundamentals are and they’ve been great. They they’ve worked their asses off and it’s been a great three days.”

In Murray’s mind, that’s what’s important from development camp.

You’re not competing for a spot on the roster with the Kings or the Reign this week, even if there are perhaps more eyeballs on players who could be starting, or continuing, their professional careers this season in Ontario. It’s the first chance to see a large group of these players on the ice in Los Angeles, including all three 2024 attendees who were at the event.

“This is the first [chance] to create relationships with the development staff, because we haven’t, our staff hasn’t really seen the majority of the players out here. I think it’s a big leap for the goaltending, we have a lot of goaltenders here and we have a lot of high-end goaltenders here so I think it’s a great three, four days for the goaltending staff. Just to create relationships because now the players who are going to be turning pro, we have our hands on, but for the kids that are going back to college, back to junior, you put a name with a face and kind of understand that we’re going to be coming to see them throughout the year and you just don’t come here in the summer and never see us again. They get the full sail on the staff and they’ll begin watching them, talking to coaches and create relationships.”

Just because the primary objective, though, wasn’t to look for standouts, Murray had positive things to say about a number of young players who he was asked about.

When asked for his standouts, Murray highlighted a pair of college players – Jared Wright and Jack Hughes – who were selected together in the 2023 NHL Draft. Wright is coming off a National Championship at the University of Denver while Hughes reached the Frozen Four with Boston University. Wright has two seasons of eligibility left at the NCAA level and Murray indicated that he will return to school for his junior season with the Pioneers. Hughes has played three NCAA seasons and will have just one year of college eligibility left.

“Lots of good prospects and it’s a short camp, so it’s hard, and I’ve seen this player before, but I thought Wright was really good,” Murray said. “He’s got tenacity, he’s on top of the puck, he’s got a big tank and when I say tank, he can go for 45 seconds to a minute hard. The progression of him, he’s going back to Denver again and we all really liked him and he’s been he’s been progressing really well. And Jack Hughes has done a really incredible job from last year to this year, he’s really come a long way and he’s on the same kind of path.”

Murray also offered his thoughts on multiple other Kings prospects, with those thoughts in full below –

Liam Greentree
Big body, he’s got a great shot, I think he’s got an NHL-type shot, he’s still young and he can skate. I think he’s hard to handle, he’s hard to handle down low and [he can] hold onto the puck, protect the puck, which is huge for a big body and head up down low and he’ll make the play. Like I said, it’s three days, but we’ll get on him and we’ll see him this year quite a bit.

Jakub Dvorak
Our [defensive] guys, OD and Greenie, they’ve already talked very highly of him. Big body, very poised, I would say, in the d-zone, below the goalline, very poised with the puck. He can skate for a big guy. We’re not sure where he’s going to be next year, I think it’s up to him and his agency but we’re really looking to getting our hands on him.

Koehn Ziemmer
He’s had a good offseason so far. He didn’t play much last year because of the injury and he’s come a long way and he’s still got lots of room to improve, but he’s a tank out there. He likes to shoot the puck and he likes to go through players.

Ryan Conmy
We were just talking about him, actually, in the backroom and he really works. He’s got a real good shot and he’s got a nice tenacity on the puck and will hold onto the puck even if he’s got bigger guys on him and leaning on him, he can spin off and he’s done that his whole life, probably throughout his hockey career and he did that last year. We love the progression with him too. We’re looking forward to getting him. He’s got a couple of years of college left but we’re looking forward to getting him in here and kind of working with more so in the offseason.

Photo by Gary A. Vasquez/NHLI via Getty Images

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