Notes: To determine who is still deemed a “prospect,” Calder eligibility will be used. Which is, by definition: “To be eligible for the award, a player cannot have played any more than 25 games previously in any single season, nor have played in more than six games in two separate preceding seasons in any major professional league…players could only be eligible if they were 26 years old or younger by September 15 of their rookie season.”
With the departure of top prospect Brayden Schenn, the Los Angeles Kings deep farm system took a hit this summer. The system however, is still one of the top in the NHL, and possesses an incredible depth of talent.
The Kings have been one of the better drafting teams in recent years. Home grown talent like Drew Doughty and Anze Kopitar are set to be the back-bone of one of best up and coming teams in the NHL. Adding the gritty leader and scorer Mike Richards was just icing on the cake, as the Kings are expected to be real contenders.
Despite losing Brayden Schenn, and the graduation of future net minding star Jonathan Bernier, the Kings still have one of the top prospect pools in the NHL. Highlighted by the strong depth of defenseman, the Kings have a system they can rely on to turn out some solid NHL players.
1. Andrei Loktionov
Date of Birth: May 30, 1990
Place of Birth: Voskresensk, Russia
Ht: 5-10 Wt: 180
Drafted: 5th Round (123) 2008
Andrei Loktionov has the potential to be a first line playmaking center if everything goes his way. He is incredibly talented with the puck, and can create plays by himself. His best asset is likely his ice-level vision and intelligence. His skating is strong, but not spectacular, while his stick skills are magical. He needs to add some size before becoming an impact player. His height, and overall body type may be key factors in how his career will play out, but he looks right now like one of the better forward prospects in all of hockey.
2. Tyler Toffoli
Date of Birth: April 24, 1992
Place of Birth: Scarborough, Ontario
Ht: 6-0 Wt: 181
Position: Right Wing
Drafted: 2nd Round (47) 2010
Tyler Toffoli exploded last year with the Ottawa 67’s. He put up dominant offensive numbers with his dynamic hands and lethal shot. His skating is average at best, but has gotten stronger since the time of the draft. He is not expected to make the opening night roster on the deep kings team, but will likely find himself in their top six sooner rather than later.
3. Vyacheslav Voynov
Date of Birth: Jan 5, 1990
Place of Birth: Chelyabinsk, Russia
Ht: 5-11 Wt: 193
Drafted: 2nd Round (32) 2008
In a system deep with defensemen, Slava Voynov has outshone the others. He showed his commitment to playing a North American game by coming over to North America when he was only 18 years old to play in the American Hockey League. Voynov possesses talent at both ends of the ice, and plays a good two-way game. He is physical when necessary, and has good positioning. His offensive game has been top notch in the AHL so far, and he has the potential to quarterback a power-play at the NHL level.
4. Derek Forbort
Date of Birth: Mar 4, 1992
Place of Birth: Duluth, Minnesota
Ht: 6-5 Wt: 200
Drafted: 1st Round (15) 2010
While still raw, Derek Forbot possesses a tremendous upside. He has all the right tools to be a top four defenseman, but will have to work hard, and take that next step in his development to realize his potential. In his first season at the University of North Dakota, he showed good commitment to playing a two-way game. He needs to be more physical to compliment his size, but offensively he is smart with the puck.
5. Thomas Hickey
Date of Birth: Feb 8, 1989
Place of Birth: Calgary, Alberta
Ht: 5-11 Wt: 182
Drafted: 1st Round (4) 2007
When he was initially drafted, Thomas Hickey was expected to be the puck-moving defenseman of the future. The next year, Drew Doughty knocked him a rung down the ladder, and he still hasn’t climbed back up. Hickey has unreal vision on the ice, and incredibly agile skating skills. He has had injury problems, which have hurt his development, but it is still way too early to rule him out of a successful NHL career.