Alex Turcotte is among a group of LA Kings prospects who were loaned to Eisbären Berlin. They’ll be taking part in training camp.
Without any formal direction for organized team activities yet to fall in line, the LA Kings have loaned Alex Turcotte to Eisbären Berlin of the Deutsche Eishockey Liga (DEL). And not just Turcotte either, he will be joined by four other Kings prospects.
In this strange year, we’ve already seen Carl Grundstrom, Samuel Fagemo, and Jacob Moverare loaned to teams overseas. Under normal circumstances, in a normal year, the Kings and their respective prospects would be in training camp right about this time of year, just days away from the regular season beginning.
However, the LA Kings were one of seven teams not to qualify for the league’s playoff bubble, so they could have conceivably gone nine months without any meaningful play. Instead, Turcotte, who was taken with the fifth overall pick in the 2019 NHL Draft, will begin his tenure with the Kings in a fashion that even he couldn’t have predicted.
He’s expected to begin the year in Ontario, after coming off a disappointing freshman season at Wisconsin. But getting on the ice, even just for training camp, is so critical for all five prospects’ development. The opportunity will also allow them to develop a working relationship and chemistry that can be utilized going forward.
Playing in the preseason games overseas would be huge, too, given the somewhat realistic game scenario, even if it doesn’t count in the box score.
Turcotte is the headliner here, given his recent draft status, but don’t sleep on Akil Thomas. I recently predicted him as having a major impact on the Kings next year, and getting a jump on training camp is a good way to achieve that. He tallied a combined 24 goals with 60 assists for 84 points in only 49 games last season.
Tyler Madden, a 2020 second-round pick, was acquired as part of the Tyler Toffoli trade, and the 20-year-old centerman scored 19 goals with 18 assists in 27 games at Northeastern University last year. Aidan Dudas and Jacob Ingham might be the ones with the most to gain from this whole experience.
As a fourth-round pick in the 2018 NHL Draft, Dudas will have the chance to separate himself on film and word of mouth from the German coaches. The same goes for Ingham, a netminder who was a sixth-round pick in 2018.