After deep Memorial Cup run, Ebert gets deal with Kings

By Jared Clinton (@JPDClinton)

The Los Angeles Kings announced they’ve signed 2012 seventh-round pick Nick Ebert to a three-year entry level contract.

Ebert, 20, spent last season split between the Ontario Hockey League’s Windsor Spitfires and Guelph Storm. With the Spitfires, where Ebert played most of his junior hockey, Ebert was a steady contributor, but he made his impact felt as a member of the Memorial Cup finalist Storm.

In 2010-11, Ebert was named to the OHL’s First All-Rookie Team, and got the nod to play in the Top Prospects Game in 2011-12.

In 38 games with the Storm in 2013-14, Ebert registered nine goals and 24 assists, and had a tremendous playoff, notching 16 points in 20 games. During the Memorial Cup tournament, Ebert added another five assists in four outings.

At 6’0″, 200-plus pounds, Ebert’s size and mobility make him a valuable asset, and he could turn into a late-round steal for the Kings down the line.

With four ECHL games with the Ontario Reign under his belt, Ebert has already seen the professional game, but it will be a while before he makes the jump the NHL. Expectations for Ebert are that he’ll line up with the Manchester Monarchs in 2014-15.

Hurricanes, Kings announce entry-level signings

The Carolina Hurricanes and Los Angeles Kings each announced today they’ve signed draft picks to entry level deals.

The Hurricanes announced that Erik Karlsson — not to be confused with the Senators’ defenseman of the same name — has inked a three-year deal with the team. Ron Francis, in a Hurricanes release, said Karlsson adds to the team’s depth at forward, citing the winger’s speed as his best attribute.

Karlsson, a 19-year-old who has spent his entire junior and professional career with Frolunda, suited up for 51 games with Frolunda in 2013-14, tallying five goals and an assist. He also helped Sweden to a silver medal at the 2014 World Junior Hockey Championships.

Los Angeles, at work stocking the cupboards even during the Western Conference Final, signed Valentin Zykov to a three-year entry-level deal.

A second round pick in 2013, Zykov’s two-way deal will kick in next season, and will likely see him in Manchester as early as October.

In 53 games last season with the Baie-Comeau Drakkar of the QMJHL, the 6’0″, 200 lb. winger registered 23 goals and 40 assists, and another 7 goals and 22 points in 22 playoff games.

Nikolai Prokhorkin leaves CSKA; Manchester bound?

By Jared Clinton (@JPDClinton)

According to a report from Russian news site All Sport, 20-year-old winger Nikolai Prokhorkin could be on his way to the Los Angeles Kings last season.

The report, which can be found on the All Sport website, suggests that Prokhorkin had asked for his contract to be restructured to increase the forward’s salary. It goes on to say that both Prokhorkin and his agent had not heard back from CSKA Moscow, where the Kings 2012 fourth round pick was playing.

In 52 games with CSKA in 2013-14, the 6’2″, 185 lb. forward posted 19 goals and 18 assists, good for the team lead in points, three points ahead of former Nashville Predator Alexander Radulov. In Spengler Cup action, Prokhorkin tallied four points in five games, finishing tied for the top-10 in points for the tournament.

Prokhorkin has already suited up for the Monarchs in his career, appearing in eight games in 2012-13, registering just one assist.

AHL Today: It’s Burger King day in Manchester!

AHL Today is a roundup of the night that was, the day ahead, and anything you may have missed. Your quick look at what’s going on around the league.

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Weekend Watch:

  • GRAND RAPIDS at TEXAS: The West’s top two teams will head into battle again tonight, and the Stars will look to even the season series at two games apiece. Recap of last night’s game below.
  • PORTLAND at MANCHESTER: For jersey fanatics, it’s like Christmas morning right now. Tonight, the Manchester Monarchs will wear the infamous Los Angeles Burger King jerseys. The atrocities threads will be on display as the Monarchs take on the visiting Pirates.

    Screen Shot 2014-01-25 at 2.09.15 PM

    (Manchester Monarchs)

Last night:

  • TEXAS 6, GRAND RAPIDS 4: After jumping out to a 4-0 lead early in the second, the Stars sat back a bit allowing the Griffins to pull a little closer with two of their own. However, it was a short lived comeback, as a dazzling pass from Jamie Oleksiak to Mike Hedden restored the Stars’ three-goal lead.
    The Stars walked away with the win, and first place in the Western Conference. The West’s top dogs will suit up to battle again tonight in Cedar Park, where Texas will look to increase the gap between themselves and the Griffins to four points.
  • CHARLOTTE obliterated OKLAHOMA CITY 9-3 on the strength of a Zach Boychuk hat-trick.
  • Two goals from Casey Wellman were enough to down SYRACUSE, as HERSHEY rolled to a 4-1 victory.

Moves:

Russ Sinkewich (D) From: Toledo Walleye To: Texas Stars
Brock Montgomery (F) From: Idaho Steelheads To: Texas Stars
Cody Goloubef (D) From: Springfield Falcons To: Columbus Blue Jackets
Sami Aittokallio (G) From: Lake Erie Monsters To: Colorado Avalanche
Kent Patterson (G) From: Denver Cutthroats To: Lake Erie Monsters
Cody Beach (F) From: Chicago Wolves To: Kalamazoo Wings
Richard Pánik (F) From: Tampa Bay Lightning To: Syracuse Crunch
Chad Ruhwedel (D) From: Rochester Americans To: Buffalo Sabres
Mark Pysyk (D) From: Buffalo Sabres To: Rochester Americans

News & Notes:

  • ROCKFORD will be hosting Pink In The Rink night tonight, in support of Breast Cancer Awareness, when they take on MILWAUKEE. [Rockford IceHogs]
  • Nice read on Joni Ortio, who has gone from backstopping the ECHL’s Alaska Aces to stepping between the pipes for the Heat. And playing well. From the story: “I knew where I was at and that I could play well, but going 9-0 to start the year that probably wasn’t in my mind,” Ortio said. “So it was kind of surprising, a pleasant surprise.” [AHL.com]
  • Goalie fight! Last night in Norfolk, Jeff Deslauriers and John Gibson got into a skirmish. Score it a draw.

Leafs, Kings make AHL swap

The Toronto Maple Leafs and Los Angeles Kings agreed to deal yesterday afternoon that shuffled the deck for their AHL squads.

Forward Brandon Kozun, a sixth-round pick by the Kings in 2009, was sent to the Leafs in exchange for forward Andrew Crescenzi, an unrestricted free agent who signed with Toronto back in September 2010.

Kozun, the more notable of the two names in the deal, is a product of the famed Shattuck St. Mary’s, where he played a single season before moving on to the Alberta Junior Hockey League and then to the WHL’s Calgary Hitmen.

Born in Los Angeles, but with Canadian nationality, Kozun now finds himself back in his home country. In 277 career games with the Monarchs, the 5’8″ forward has tallied 81 goals and 106 assists. This season, in 43 games, Kozun has potted 10 goals to go along with 19 helpers.

Crescenzi, in his first season as a full-time AHLer, had been little more than a role player for the Marlies. In 32 games this season, the Thorhill, Ont. native posted a goal and two assists. He spent parts of last season with the ECHL’s San Francisco Bulls, and suited up for 15 games with the Marlies.

Undrafted, Crescenzi made got to the AHL by way of the OHL’s Kitchener Rangers.

Christopher Gibson lands with Leafs

After failing to come to terms with the Los Angeles Kings, goaltender Christopher Gibson will suit up with the Toronto Maple Leafs organization next season.

Gibson, who has spent the last four seasons with Chicoutimi of the QMJHL, was originally drafted by the Kings in the second round of the 2011 draft, but was never signed to an NHL deal. As such, Gibson was free to explore his options, and the Maple Leafs have signed the Finnish netminder.

Only 20 years old, Gibson will suit up next season — and make his professional debut — with the Toronto Marlies. In his last season with Chicoutimi, Gibson posted a 3.08 GAA and .902 SV% in 41 regular season games, but got shelled in the playoffs, posting a 3.87 GAA and .898 SV% in six appearances.