Nic Dowd Makes NHL Debut with the Kings

In a 2-1 loss against the Minnesota Wild on Tuesday March 22, Nic Dowd played his first game with the Los Angeles Kings. The Kings recalled Dowd from the Ontario Reign on Tuesday night hours before the game as forward Tanner Pearson was a healthy scratch for personal reasons.

According to LA Kings Insider Jon Rosen, the move had been anticipated days before with the day-to-day injury of trade deadline acquisition Kris Versteeg. In nine games Versteeg has played with the Kings, he has 2 goals and three points and a plus-7 rating.

Nic Dowd’s Road to the NHL

In high school at Culver Military Academy, Dowd was a point per game player scoring 46 points in 45 games. Instead of skating in the USHL (United States Hockey League), known as the premier junior hockey league in America, Dowd went to the North American Hockey League to play for the St. Louis Bandits.

Dowd began his junior hockey career in the NAHL with the Wenatchee Wild after being traded by the Bandits in 2008-09. He went from being a healthy scratch in St. Louis to scoring 16 goals and 49 points in 43 games with Wenatchee. The following year, Dowd scored 39 points in 46 games with the Indiana Ice in the USHL.

After being drafted by the Kings in the seventh round of the 2009 entry draft, Dowd played for St. Cloud State University in Minnesota where he was on the All-Academic Team (twice), the First All-American Team and was named a Hobey Baker finalist in 2014.

In 2014-15, Dowd helped the Manchester Monarchs win the Calder Cup scoring 13 points in 19 playoff games. This season, Dowd has scored 13 goals and 47 points in 57 games and the Ontario Reign are first place in the Pacific Division with 81 points. Dowd is currently signed to one-year contract with the Kings that counts as $600,000 against the Kings’ salary cap according to CapFriendly.

Assessing Nic Dowd’s First NHL Game

Following his call-up to the big club, Dowd was inserted into the line up alongside Tyler Toffoli and Dwight King. In his first game, Shore recorded zero points, zero shots on net and played over 12 minutes for head coach Darryl Sutter.

Dowd drew a penalty on his first shift and was called for a goalie interference penalty at the beginning of the second that lead to Wild’s captain Mikko Koivu scoring his seventeenth goal of the season and giving the Minnesota a 2-1 lead.

The 25-year-old center went 5-for-8 in the faceoff circle according to war-on-ice and played on the second power play unit. Dowd was a plus-1 rating and even saw ice-time in the last few minutes of the game against Minnesota while trailing by a goal.

Dowd remains with the Kings as the team is currently on a three-game road trip and next travel to Winnipeg to play the Jets. The Kings sit atop the Pacific Division with 93 points sitting four points ahead of the Anaheim Ducks and five points ahead of the San Jose Sharks in the Pacific Division.