January 19th, 2014, 01:52 PM #1
Nelson Emerson: A player pays it forward (NHL.com)
Nelson Emerson is a former Los Angeles Kings player who works in player development for the team. Following a 13-year NHL career as a five-time 20-goal scorer, Emerson spent two seasons as an assistant coach before his current role.
He is involved with the Junior Kings youth program and co-coaches his sons with Kings assistant general manager Rob Blake. Coincidentally, Emerson and Blake were sitting in a dorm room at Bowling Green State University in 1988 when they heard the news that Wayne Gretzky had been traded to the Los Angeles Kings.
I have twin 12-year-old boys who have been playing youth hockey here since 6 or 7. They're both forwards. One's a goal-scorer and the other's a grinder but they don't play on the same line. They started playing on ice. Some kids do start on roller hockey, but I think now, because of the facilities available, they're able to start on ice earlier.
The facility in El Segundo, where the Kings practice, is very accessible. You can be on the ice six or seven times a week if you want. We also do a lot of travel. We just got back from a big tournament in Detroit. Usually when the top kids play on the top team at their age, they have to travel to get quality opponents.
Read more: Nelson Emerson of Los Angeles Kings involved in California youth hockey - Sunday Long Read