Los Angeles Kings Prospect Brian O’Neill Wins AHL MVP Award


Things are looking good in the Kings prospect department.

Last week Friday (April 17th), the American Hockey League announced that Los Angeles Kings Prospect and Manchester Monarchs right-winger Brian O’Neill was voted the winner of the Les Cunningham Award.

The Les Cunningham award is the AHL’s Most Valuable Player Award.  The announcement came via the Manchester Monarchs website.

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O’Neill led the Monarchs and the AHL in points with 80, registering 10 more than the 2nd highest point producer Andy Miele of the Grand Rapids Griffins.  O’Neill also led the AHL in assists, and tied for first in plus/minus.

In 71 games O’Neill scored 22 goals, 58 assists, 80 points, +30 plus/minus, 9 power-play goals (ranking 15th in the AHL) and 2 short-handed goals.

The 2014-2015 season is O’Neill’s third full season with the Monarchs dating back to 2012-2013.  After finishing his senior year playing for Yale University of the NCAA in 2011-2012, O’Neill joined the Monarchs for 12 games during which he scored his first AHL goal and 2 points.

O’Neill has never played an NHL game.

It’s good news for the Kings franchise that their young, up-and-coming players are bringing home some hardware.  After a tough season that has seen the Kings miss the playoffs for the first time since 2009, it appears the difficulties are only going to continue.  L.A. has a number of free agent players that need to be resigned, and that the Kings may not be able to afford.

Now there’s the issue with Jarret Stoll.

Knowing that there is available depth and talent waiting in the wings will help lighten the blow.

It’s sad to say, but there’s truth in the honest assessment: these Kings teams have brought the city of L.A. their first hockey championships.  The unfortunate reality is long playoff battles and years striving to obtain hockey’s Holy Grail have come at a cost: this Kings team is aging.

Knowing there are good players coming up the pipeline like Brian O’Neill should bring comfort to the fan base.  As the Kings transition the next era of Kings champions will begin.

It’s all part of the master plan, and culture that President/General Manager Dean Lombardi has brought to the L.A. franchise.

Led by O’Neill the Manchester Monarchs finished 1st in the AHL, putting them in the #1 seed of the Eastern Conference for the AHL playoffs.

Manchester’s first game is Thursday April 23rd at 10:00 p.m. PST (7:00 p.m. EST) against the Portland Pirates.

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