Prospect Watch: Nick Shore Update 1.0


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

This week takes another look at Nick Shore.

Earlier this week Nick Shore was called-up to the Kings from American Hockey League affiliate Manchester Monarchs.

Shore has been with the Kings since Sunday.  Since that time L.A. has had two games, and Shore has yet to dress.

The Kings have two major injuries at the forward position.  Both second year players that are considered rookies by NHL standards (they did not play more than 25 games in any combined previous experience): Tyler Toffoli and Tanner Pearson.

Due to the extended injuries of these players Shore should be expected to spend some quality time with the big club.

Prior to his call-up Shore was leading the AHL in plus/minus rating (+22), was tied for the lead in goals (20), and second on the Monarchs in points (41).

Shore is a natural center, but can play anywhere at the forward position.

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  • A prototypical King, Shore is big at 6’1, 190 pounds.  Shore can battle along the boards, drop the mitts, and, clearly, can put the puck in the net.

    As he’s progressed up through the levels in his career it’s taken Shore some time to adjust.  That could be one reason head coach Darryl Sutter has yet to dress the 22-year-old.

    The NHL level focuses much more on systems, coaching, positioning, and player matchups.  Lower-levels like the AHL or Major-Junior levels, like Junior A, facilitate natural play that’s conducive to player’s showcasing their talents.

    The Kings also have options to play forwards Andy Andreoff, a rookie and former Monarch in his first year with the big club; and Jordan Nolan, who has been on the Kings for four years now, winning the Stanley Cup in his first year with the club.

    So far, L.A. has elected to play Andreoff and Nolan.

    It’s a good idea for a number of reasons.  Shore is new to the Kings and needs to learn some of the systems.  He also needs to become familiar with his new teammates.  Gradually acclamating Shore to the teams routine, will help him in the short and long-term.  Shore will learn how to behave, travel, and play as a professional at the highest level.

    In many cases it also takes time for players to transition from a top scorer, which Shore was in the AHL, to a third or fourth line role-player, which he will be when he suits up with the NHL.  The club will prepare him to be a scorer in the NHL in the future, but currently he will serve the team in other capacities.

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    Concurrently, it’s a right of passage.  That’s how Kings President/General Manager Dean Lombardi prefers it.  Andreoff and Nolan have put their time in.  They are NHLer’s who have been with the Kings.  While everyone accepts Shore as a Kings player and a professional associate, everyone respects the fact that he’s still very, very green.

    Shore needs to respect that fact too.

    There have been instances of teams bringing players up and allowing them to acclimate too quickly.  In some cases, players in that situation begin to feel entitled.  An example: the entire roster of the Edmonton Oilers.

    You don’t want a rookie to feel like he’s not a rookie.  Even, and sometimes especially, if it’s an extremely talented player.  If Mario Lemieux didn’t come out of retirement to help teach Sidney Crosby, Crosby could have turned into a Nail Yakupov.  It’s not likely, given Crosby’s personality, but you get the point.

    Shore will be given his chance.  With the way the Kings season has been going they need a boost from a player that knows how to find the net.

    RinkRoyalty will continue to watch Shore’s progress and development.  We’ll give an update when Shore plays his first game as a King.

    Good luck, rook.  And as always,

    Go Kings Go!

    Next: The Kings Are Hitting Their Annual Mid-Season Slump

    Sep 25, 2014; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Anaheim Ducks right wing Chris Wagner (62) and Los Angeles Kings center Nick Shore (37) chase down the puck in the second period of the game at Staples Center. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports