Happy Thursday. A few days slow in terms of the news cycle here, but there are a few housekeeping items of interest.
in thin running
First, sharing this interview with Kings-alum Jarret Stoll, currently from Kings Player Development.
Stoll has worked with the organization’s future prospects for the past several seasons, and has taken on a key role in the field, along with Mike Donnelly, during the 2022 Development Camp. An interview that conveys Stoll’s passion for working with the organization’s young and emerging talent which gives a little extra insight into the player development process as well as the more recent development camp. Well worth a listen, as we wrap up the remaining content from the development camp earlier this month.
Listen if the development camp is more about the players learning about the organization, or the organization learning about the players
I think it’s a bit of both. You know, there’s a lot of people, a lot of staff watching these kids, and they kind of break down every little movement sometimes. But for us, we don’t know much about these kids. So sometimes we know that scouts do and that the scouts who recruited these kids definitely do. But for those of us in player development, we worry more about the kids in the organization already, going to the Ontario Reign games, Canada junior games, or NCAA games, wherever our kids are. So this is our focus. Now, our focus turns to some of these other kids as well. So it’s a bit of both.
Walk around the “veteran players” who attend development camp
We felt it was very important for these people to be in this camp not just for development reasons, but leadership reasons as well. To take those little recruits under their wings, so to speak, be first in line during all the rehearsals, watch out, do all the reps right because those just recruited kids, they’re watching. They watch Quinton Byfield, they watch Jordan Spence, Toby Bjornfot, Arthur Kaliyev. They watch players who have played in the NHL and they have to do it right for these kids. That’s the leadership we want and I think these guys have done a great job providing that.
Just a few excerpts, with more in the interview!
Whack, bam, thank you cam
Second, the Ontario Reign have announced their AHL-level signing, with veteran defender Cameron Jones returning.
Gaunce, 32, spent each of the last two seasons playing for Reign. He collected 13 points (3-10-13) from 24 games played during the short 2020-21 season, and most recently appeared in 61 regular season games during the full 2021-22 season, scoring 27 points on seven goals and 20 assists. and +12 rating. It is also suitable for all five Ontario competitions in the Calder Playoff Cup.
Gaunce was a veteran captain of Ontario’s youth team as one of the group’s older players, and he aligned well with Reign’s existing leadership group last season. With over 731 AHL games to his name, the blueline’s oldest statesman was in the young Reign’s background, along with younger teammates such as Jordan Spence, Helge Grans, Jacob Moverare and Sean Durzi. Gaunce is a two-time Calder Cup and AHL All-Star champion, with 37 NHL games to his name as well.
Off the ice, Gaunce was awarded the 2021-22 Ontario IOA/American Specialty AHL for his outstanding contributions to society. This was the second time he was honored with the award in his career, and he previously received this honor with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton for the 2016-2017 season. Gaunce was also a participant in the community service portion of the 2020 AHL All-Star Classic, held in Ontario, and volunteered his time during his two days at the Inland Empire.
American Hockey League (TheAHL) March 28, 2022
kings in society
Third, although the team is in a casual setting, their appearance in the local community continued throughout the summer.
The organization’s Storytime program continues over the next month, with five library visits scheduled over the course of August. Full schedule available here.
Over the weekend, the Kings joined other members of The Alliance: Los Angeles in a Unity Against Racism rally of nearly 1,000 participants. The event was attended by many speakers from sports franchises across Los Angeles, including Blake Bolden of the Kings.
“It is invaluable to create a forum where youth and law enforcement officials can safely and peacefully engage in constructive conversations. Through the collective strength of the Alliance, we continue to demonstrate how sport can be a driving force for change.”
The “We Are All Kings” platform demonstrates LA Kings’ commitment to creating a culture in which everyone feels welcome in the Kings family. As such, programming of the same name will reflect two values that the L.A. Kings uphold at its core, inclusivity and fairness. Through We Are All Kings, Los Angeles Kings is committed to investing resources to ensure that every hockey player and fan is embraced locally.
On the We Are All Kings Train, the Kings held their second “We Are All Kings” camp this week at the Toyota Sports Performance Center. The camp is part of the We Are All Kings umbrella, which emphasizes the diversity and inclusion of hockey on and off the ice. Offered as a free five-day youth camp at the Toyota Athletic Performance Center, Bolden served as head coach, providing instruction to players of all skill levels. Each participant received equipment to prepare them to either start playing hockey or take their skills to the next level. Interview with Bolden at inaugural camp last fall linked here.
The Kings are also gearing up to host the annual L.A. Kings Camp, scheduled to begin Monday, August 1 at the Toyota Sports Performance Center. Hosted by Daryl Evans, Derek Armstrong and the Kings Hockey Development Team, the Kings Camp is an opportunity for young players between the ages of 5 and 15 to participate in a five-day camp at the Kings Training Headquarters.
More information is available about Kings Camp over here.
Tomorrow morning, Insiders, we’ll be running a Q&A here on the site, starting in the morning when I get to the office! Ask your questions in the comments and I will post them.