Prospect Watch: World Juniors Edition


RinkRoyalty will be reviewing the progress of Los Angeles Kings prospects every Wednesday as the season continues into full swing.

This week’s edition of Prospect Watch takes a look at a few of the Kings prospects playing in the World Junior Championships tournament in Montreal and Toronto.

The 2015 World Junior Championships are taking place in Montreal and Toronto, Canada.  Ten international teams, split into two groups, compete in a four game round-robin, before moving on to relegation and playoff rounds that will decide the champion.

Scouts are extremely busy at this time of year.  A number of players in the WJC have already been drafted, but a lot have players haven’t been picked up yet.  Most of those available aren’t old enough to be declared draft eligible.  Though, players are never too young to be scouted.

Three of the Kings prospects are participating this year:

Adrian Kempe wears #29 for Team Sweden.  Kepme was the Kings first round, 29th overall – what a coincidence, pick at the NHL Entry Draft in 2014.  Kempe plays regularly in Sweden’s premier Swedish Hockey League for MODO Hockey.  In 30 games with MODO this season Kempe has 4 goals and 15 points.

In 2 games with Sweden at the WJC Kempe has 2 goals, 4 points, an even plus/minus, and 2 power-play goals.

At 18 years of age Kempe is already grown into a monster.  The young Swede is 6’2, 187 pounds.  Kempe is strong, always finishes a check, and drives hard to the net.  Known for his powerful shot and work ethic, Kempe is now showing he’s a major contributor on the world stage.

Live Feed

Prospects Put On a Show at World Junior Summer Showcase
Prospects Put On a Show at World Junior Summer Showcase /

Blackhawk Up

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  • Kempe has helped Sweden jump to the top of their group, Group B, which also features Russia and the Czech Republic.  Sweden is 3-0-0 with 9 points, 13 Goals For and 5 Goals Against.

    Dominik Kubalik wears #18 for Team Czech Republic.  Kubalik was drafted by the Kings in the seventh round, 191st overall, in 2013’s draft.  Kubalik plays for HC Skoda Plzen in the Czech Republic’s Czech Extraliga.  In 22 games with HC Plzen Kubalik has 3 goals, 6 points, 31 penalty minutes, and an even plus/minus.

    Kubalik has been selected to lead the Czech Republic as the team’s captain.  While wearing the C in 3 games Kubalik has 1 goal, 1 point, 6 shots, and a -3 rating.

    The 19-year-old Kubalik is another big, strong forward.  Kubalik plays the left wing, standing tall at 6’2, 190 pounds.  Kubalik is a power-forward whose strength lies in using his physical assets.  Kubalik can move the puck well, and like Kempe, isn’t afraid to get in the corners and throw his body around.

    After 3 games at the WJC the Czech’s are at the bottom of group B, 5th place with 1 overtime win and 2 losses.  The Czech’s have 2 points, 8 Goals For, and 13 Goals Against.

    The third Kings prospect at the tournament is Alex Lintuniemi.  Lintuniemi is a defensemen wearing #23 for Team Finland.  Lintuniemi was drafted in the 2nd round, 60th overall, of the 2014 NHL Entry Draft.  When he’s not with Team Finland Lintuniemi plays in the Ontario Hockey League for the Ottawa 67’s.  Lintuniemi’s in his second season with the 67’s.  In 29 games with Ottawa this season, Lintuniemi has 3 goals, 16 points, 14 penalty minutes and a -5 rating.

    Live Feed

    This is a big year for Alex Turcotte and the Los Angeles Kings
    This is a big year for Alex Turcotte and the Los Angeles Kings /

    Puck Prose

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  • For Team Finland Lintuniemi’s played 3 games, has 0 points, a -2 rating, and 2 penalty minutes.

    The Kings love big, physical players and Lintuniemi, like Kempe and Kubalik are.  The 19-year-old Lintuniemi is two-way defensemen who can move the puck up-ice, join the rush, and sort-out opponents in the defensive zone.  Quickness and speed at the higher levels is an area of concern for the big, young defensmen, and speed isn’t a skill that can be developed.  However, Lintuniemi has helped Finland employ a stingy defensive system.

    Finland is currently 4th in Group A, with 1 overtime loss and 2 regulation losses in 3 games played.  Finland has 1 point, 3 Goals For, and 8 Goals Against.

    It’s an exciting time of year for Junior and Amateur hockey alike.  No doubt scouts are out monitoring the play of drafted and undrafted players alike.

    The marquee matchup of the tournament is this afternoon, currently underway, started 4:00 p.m. EST; featuring the United States against Canada.  Games can be seen on NHL Network.

    We’ll continue to follow the progress of the Kings prospects as the tournament and season continues into the new year.