Manor 10 Tidbits from Day 2 at Kings 2024 Dev Camp

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And just like that, it’s almost over.

With two days in the books now, there is just a single day remaining at this year’s LA Kings Development Camp. However, Tuesday was a far more important day of evaluation than the camp opener on Monday.

“Scrimmages are weighted more,” noted Sean O’Donnell. “That’s real time; it’s not controlled. With the drills [on Monday] — at least with the defense — we try and work on this one thing or maybe these two things, and you don’t have to process. I find [the scrimmages] are harder for defensemen because there is stuff happening all the time. There’s no real structure and guys have to make decisions. They have to process a lot of information and try and make the best decision. If guys can do it under this environment, that’s impressive.”

Building on those thoughts, here are some key takeaways coming out of Day 2 at Dev Camp:

1. Three Stars of the Game Scrimmage

First off, it’s a summer scrimmage. Let’s not get carried away. With that said, though, there was quite a bit of optimism among Kings executives surrounding their goal crease. Both Hampton Slukynsky and Carter George put on quite a performance in their respective nets, earning two of Tuesday’s three stars. Slukynsky, the reigning USHL Goaltender of the Year — and fresh off his Kings Of The Podcast appearance (you’ll notice a theme later) — started for Team Black and was simply fantastic between the pipes, making save after save. He especially couldn’t be beat on the glove side.

2. Impressive, Yet Humble

George, LA’s second round pick at last weekend’s NHL Draft, was equally stellar for Team White at the other end of the ice. Both guys played the full 35-minute first half (these games are generally played in two halves, with an ice flood in-between), before giving way to a pair of camp invitees following intermission.

O’Donnell shared that he even asked George how he made one of his highlight reel saves after the game, to which the 18-year-old replied, ‘I was just lucky.’

That was the perfect reply as far as O’Donnell was concerned, adding that he liked George’s humility.

Lawrence draws a tripping penalty

Takes a penalty shot

Save by George pic.twitter.com/2viQkbu0br

— The Mayor | Team MM (@mayorNHL) July 2, 2024


3. Other Star of the Game

With goalies taking two of the day’s top honors, Tuesday’s other star would be a coin flip between forwards Koehn Ziemmer and Ryan Conmy. Funny enough, they were on opposite teams.

Not a lot should be made of line combinations in a scrimmage, and things don’t always stay static with set lines in these type of events… however… the Wrigt-Lawrence-Ziemmer line for Team Black, along with the Connors-Greentree-Conmy grouping for Team White, were both noticeable on nearly every shift.

Ziemmer, specifically, was showing off some of the same stuff he did last summer at Dev Camp. A true power forward, he seems to get better the more he’s physically involved in the action. And Conmy? When he’s on the ice, the puck is typically nearby. He’s perpetual motion and always in the action, making things happen.

4. Freight Train Coming Through

Ziemmer | Dev Camp #GoKingsGo pic.twitter.com/QFXYXJX7uH

— The Mayor | Team MM (@mayorNHL) July 3, 2024


5. Whose House? Kenny’s House!

Don’t sleep on Umass forward Kenny Connors. We’ve tried to warn people. Another recent guest on Kings Of The Podcast (the magic lives on!), Connors scored one of Team White’s two even-strength goals. He may not have a big, eye popping shot. Instead, he just has a classic nose for the net and finds a way to beat goalies.

6. Where’s The Beef?

Angus Booth, who is turning pro this summer after completing his QMJHL career, received some significant praise from O’Donnell following the scrimmage.

High praise from Sean O'Donnell when talking about defenseman Angus Booth (who will join AHL Ontario next season):

Angus has got a little bit of Mikey Anderson or Jacob Moverare in there. He sees the ice very well. He understands the game.

— The Mayor | Team MM (@mayorNHL) July 3, 2024


7. Woolley Shines Again

Newly drafted defenseman Jared Woolley also earned praise for the second straight day. Standing 6-foot-4, the London Knights blueliner is settling in nicely during his first camp in LA and should be a player to watch in Wednesday’s finale.

Sean O'Donnell on new Kings prospect Jared Woolley… pic.twitter.com/rwzvqllDTp

— The Mayor | Team MM (@mayorNHL) July 3, 2024


8. Bloodlines and Connections

Fellow 2024 draftee, Liam Greentree, had an interesting connection to the Kings even before being selected by the team 26th overall last Friday.

Obviously this had zero impact on who LA Kings selected in RD1, but it's a reminder of what a small world hockey is…

Liam Greentree is good friends w/ Colton Smith, his @SpitsHockey teammate.

Who is that? Son of LAK asst coach DJ Smith. And DJ loves Liam, stoked for the pick.

— The Mayor | Team MM (@mayorNHL) July 3, 2024


9. Just Give Me a Chance, Coach

We’ll publish an article soon talking more about a few of the camp invitees. However, there are three in particular who are most likely to earn a contract with the Kings, either this summer or after their 2024-25 seasons are over. One of them is goalie Samuel St-Hilaire of the Sherbrooke Phoenix (QMJHL). He’s 6-foot-2 and had a .915 save percentage last season, that was fourth-best in the league. He also had the third-best goals against average (2.41) and tied for the third most shutouts (5).

They're switching to the camp invitees in net for the second half. Will be 25 minutes this time instead of 35.

Very interested in watching Samuel St-Hilaire (No. 29 white).

From what we hear, he's one of three guys LA is interested in potentially signing.

— The Mayor | Team MM (@mayorNHL) July 2, 2024


10. Don’t Forget About the Big Guy

Jakub Dvorak has been well-traveled since being selected by LA in the second round of the 2023 NHL Draft in Nashville. Standing 6-foot-5 without skates, the left shot defender went from Music City to SoCal last June, then back home to play in the Czech league for half a season, before finishing out the year with Swift Current in the WHL. He’s now hopeful of being assigned to AHL Ontario for next season — a decision that will ultimately play itself out during training camp in September.

“I don’t have a problem with his skating at all,” said O’Donnell, in reference to what some outside the organization were critical of one year ago. “I think that he could get stronger. I think that that’s going to come. For a big guy, I think he moves pretty well. He’s naturally not a ‘Grrrr’ type of guy, or whatever you want to call it. I think, to play, it doesn’t matter, you don’t have to be the toughest guy in the world or the strongest guy. In your one-on-one battles, you have to win more than you lose. For him, I think that his skating for his size is just fine. I think his footwork is pretty good. I think he moves the puck well. There are other things we’re working on with him, but we like the progression of Jakub and where he’s at.”

O’Donnell went on to note that he traveled to Europe to watch Dvorak before Christmas last year, where he was largely playing against men. Then, later in the season, O’Donnell also went to watch him play some WHL games.

“I think he did a good job; I think it’s different,” stated O’Donnell. “In the Western League, he’s playing against 17, 18, 19 year olds, but it’s more physical, a more ‘in your face’ game. I thought he adapted well and played well.”

Will Dvorak take the necessary steps this summer to elevate to the AHL next season? Only time will tell.

We’ll have more from Day 3 on Wednesday.

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