Corey Pronman of The Athletic has released his rankings for the Under-23-year-old prospects for each NHL team. In his view, the LA Kings have a top-five U23 prospect pool.
The LA Kings are widely believed to have one of the best prospect pools in the entire National Hockey League. The term “prospect” is usually a general term used to describe young players in a particular team’s system. For the purposes of Pronman’s article, he further defined each team’s prospect pool to include only those players under 23 years of age. In his rankings, it does not matter if a player has played NHL experience or not.
Pronman ranked the Kings U23 prospects as the fifth-best overall in the NHL, behind the NY Rangers, Ottawa Senators, Carolina Hurricanes, and number-one overall, the Buffalo Sabres. While some might be surprised that the Kings are not number one or two based on the hype surrounding their prospects, Pronman is one of the best in the business when it comes to ranking prospects. What he says should certainly be held in high regard.
Pipeline #5: Los Angeles https://t.co/6i75ivbeqJ
— Corey Pronman (@coreypronman) September 2, 2021
A top-five ranking is certainly nothing to be upset about, and one of the major takeaways from his write-up about the Kings is that he projects an incredible 19 of their prospects to play in the NHL. Considering most teams would be thrilled to have half that number projected to make it to “the show”, it speaks volumes to the overall strength of the Los Angeles pipeline.
With 19 prospects projected to play in the NHL, some might ask how the LA Kings are not ranked higher by Pronman? He doesn’t specifically say, but it could have something to do with the fact that he does not have many of their prospects projecting in the all-star or top-line tier. In fact, he only has two of the Kings prospects definitely projecting to that level, with two more possibly getting there. The top two prospects for the LA Kings are Quinton Byfield and Arthur Kaliyev, who are, of course, the ones he projects as a sure-fire top line or all-star status. For the rest of the rankings, you’ll have to subscribe to The Athletic.
The LA Kings have done a phenomenal job of building up their prospect pipeline. With 19 players projected to make the NHL by a highly respected analyst like Pronman, it is also another strong signal that it is time for the franchise to move from rebuilding mode to contending mode. They have taken steps toward this by bringing in the likes of Viktor Arvidsson and Phillip Danault, but it is also time for the prospects to start getting into the Los Angeles lineup. With nearly an entire roster worth of prospects projected to make the NHL, the Kings can certainly afford to start seeing what they have in their top prospects at the NHL level this season.