By Paul Armbruster • KingsNewsDaily.com •
The LA Kings currently have 7 prospects playing in the CHL (Canadian Hockey League), better known as Juniors. The league, which allows players ages 16-20, is divided into 3 sub-leagues: The OHL (Ontario Hockey League), the QMJHL (Quebec Major Junior Hockey League) and the WHL (Western Hockey League).
The Kings have 4 players in the OHL, 2 players in the QMJHL and 1 player in the WHL. Here they are sorted by position. To see all Kings prospects by position, click here to view the Kings News Daily prospect tracker.
The playoffs are currently underway in the CHL. I’ve listed each player below according to their league. Each summary consisits of where they came from, how they did this season, where they stand in the playoffs and what you can expect next year. All photos by IKIRI.
Nick Ebert is an 18 year old defenseman who plays for the Windsor Spitfires. The New Jersey native was selected in the 7th round (#211) in last year’s draft. The Spitfires finished 10 points out of a playoff spot and Nick is now playing for the Kings ECHL affiliate, the Ontario Reign (see story here). He is the only Kings prospect currently on the Reign’s roster. LA Kings Insider Jon Rosen recently published a story on Ebert’s progression. In it, former King Warren Rychel, who is the GM of the Spitfires, gave Ebert praise calling him a “good kid” who thinks Nick will eventually “be a good pro.” Ebert played in all 68 games for Windsor and had the most goals and points of all defensemen on the club as well as a team worst -39. Rychel’s eldest son Kerby led the team in goals (40) and points (87). Both are expected to return to the Spitfires next season. Here’s an interview with Nick on YouTube.
Kurtis MacDermid is a 19 year old defenseman who plays for the Owen Sound Attack. Undrafted, the Sauble Beach, Ontario native was signed by the Kings in September, 2012 to an entry level contract. In 65 games he recorded just one goal and 7 assists with a +7 rating. He also ranked 2nd on the team with 110 penalty minutes. The Sound Attack finished 3rd in the OHL Western Conference and currently lead the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds 2 games to none in the first round. Kurtis’ father Paul (a former NHL player) and uncle Peter are co-owners of the Owen Sound Attack. MacDermid is expected to return to the Sound Attack next season. Here’s Kurtis “dancing” in a game earlier this season.
Colin Miller is a 20 year defenseman and is the Captain of the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds. He’s also a native of the city where he plays and was taken in the 5th round (#151) in last year’s draft. The Greyhounds finished 6th in the West, and as indicated above, are currently down 0-2 to the Sound Attack. Miller finished the season with his highest scoring output yet in his 3rd season with the club. He scored 20 goals and 35 assists, good for 4th most on the team. He finished with a +13 rating. Miller turns 21 in October. I believe that makes him ineligible for an additional year of Junior and I expect him to make his way to Manchester.
Michael Schumacher is a 19 year old left winger also playing for the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds. The Swedish native was drafted in the 7th round (#200) in 2011. He finished with 20 goals as well, along with 30 assists and a -9 rating. Despite being down in the series against the Sound Attack, Schumacher has had an outstanding first 2 games earning a point in each Greyhound goal. Teammate and fellow Kings prospect Miller fed Schumacher in game 2, giving the them the lead before giving up 3 unanswered in a 4-2 loss. I expect Michael to be back with the Greyhounds next year.
Chris Gibson is a 20 year old goalie playing for the Chicoutimi Sagueneens. The Finnish native was drafted in the 2nd round (#49) of the 2011 draft. In his 4th season with the Sagueneens, Gibson played in just 41 of 68 games, his lowest output since his sophomore effort. He earned just 17 wins along with his 18 losses, good enough to help the Sags secure 12th place in the league. The QMJHL has just one conference where 16 of the 18 teams make the playoffs each year. The Sags are currently tied 1-1 in a series with the Quebec Ramparts, who are coached by legendary Kings nemesis Patrick Roy. Roy is also the GM and part owner of the club. Gibson gave up 3 goals in game 1 and 5 goals in game 2. I expect him to turn pro next year, possibly playing for the Ontario Reign. Here’s a player profile video of Gibson.
Tomas Hyka is right winger playing for the Gatineau Olympiques. The Czech Republic native was selected in the 6th round (#171) in last year’s draft. In his second season with the Olympiques, Hyka matched his goals output with 20 but fell short of his assists high of 44 in 2011-12 with 10 fewer in one less game this season. His 54 points was good enough for 2nd most on the team and led the club with a +9 rating. The Olympiques finished one spot behind the Sagueneens in 13th and are also currently tied 1-1 in their series with Rimouski Oceanic. Hyka was invited to the Flyers camp in 2011 and played in 2 preseason games, scoring a very impressive break away goal seen here. And here are some more Hyka highlights. He was not offered a contract due to remaining draft eligibility and was snatched up by Lombardi after the Kings Cup win. I have some concern over his lack of size, especially since he has taken some vicious hits seen here and here. I expect Tomas to return to Gatineau next year but this has not yet been confirmed.
Alex Roach is a 19 year old defenseman playing for the Calgary Hitmen and is the Kings lone WHL representative. The British Columbia native was undrafted but signed by the Kings in September, 2011 to a 3 year entry-level deal. In his 3rd season with the Hitmen, Alex scored career highs in goals (15) and assists (34), good for 4th on the team. His +42 was tops on the club. Calgary finished 3rd in the East and is currently leading their series with the Swift Current Broncos 2 games to none. So far, Alex is a +2 with 1 goal (a game winner). He was also named to the Eastern Conference All-Star Team. Roach had a scary incident in January where a puck hit his throat. You can watch him talk about it here. I expect that he will return to Calgary for a fourth season next year.
Up Next: LA Kings Prospects Update: The College Edition