Manor College Hockey Playoffs Set; Featuring Kings vs. Kings in GM1

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All college hockey conference tournaments wrapped up this weekend and the NCAA playoff bracket of 16 teams is all set.

For those unfamiliar how it all works, there are essentially four regional brackets — consisting of four teams each — and the winners of those regionals advance to the Frozen Four.

2024 NCAA Regional Brackets​


Providence, R.I. (March 29 and 31)
1. Boston College v 16. Michigan Tech
8. Wisconsin v 9. Quinnipiac

Maryland Heights, Mo. (March 29 and 31)
4. Michigan State v 13. Western Michigan
6. North Dakota v 10. Michigan

Springfield, Mass. (March 28 and 30)
3. Denver v 14. UMass
5. Maine v 12. Cornell

Sioux Falls, S.D. (March 28 and 30)
2. Boston University v. 15. RIT
7. Minnesota v 11. Omaha

The good news in all of this is that three Kings prospects — all forwards, and all who would be ranked in the Top 10 of an LA list — are headed to the 2024 NCAA playoffs.

However, because of the way the bracket works out, only one Kings prospect has the ultimate opportunity to end up in the National Championship game this year, because they would essentially take each other out along the way.

When the winners of the Providence and Maryland regionals advance to the 2024 Frozen Four at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minn., that game won’t have any impact on Kings prospects because they don’t have anybody playing at the original eight schools vying for those two spots.

On the other side of the bracket, the Kings have Jack Hughes playing at No. 2 seed Boston Univ. Should his school advance out of the Sioux Falls regional, that would give them at least one prospect in the Frozen Four. Hughes spent the earlier part of the season centering BU’s third line, yet for the past month or so has been slotting it at LW2.

Where things will kick off with a bang — again, from an LA Kings perspective — is in Game 1 of the Springfield regional on Thursday afternoon when Denver takes on UMass. That games can be seen on ESPN2 and will feature some #KingsOnKingsCrime, as Kings prospects Jared Wright (Denver) will faceoff with Kenny Connors (UMass).

Unfortunately, that also means one Kings prospect will be going home early as a result of that game. Regardless of whichever team advances, there could still be another matchup of Kings prospects because the winners of the Springfield and Sioux Falls regionals will not only advance to the Frozen Four, they’ll faceoff for a berth in the National Championship Game.

So, if everything works out perfectly, two Kings prospects will advance to the Frozen Four — Hughes (Boston) and one of Wright/Connors (Denver/UMass). If that happens, they’ll play each other in one-half of the Frozen Four, leaving one Kings prospect playing for this year’s championship trophy.

Interestingly enough, all three players were selected at the 2022 NHL Draft. Wright was selected the latest (sixth round) and has grown into an important role for his club. He’s also produced the most offensively this season, scoring 14 goals. Hughes (second round) and Connors (fourth) are no slouches either. Hence their spots in the lineup for their respective teams.

For what it’s worth, Connors is considered the most NHL ready prospect at this time. Not that he would make the jump to LA should he sign; just that he would likely require the least amount of AHL development.

Key Games for LA Kings Prospects​


Thurs. March 28

3. Denver v 14. UMass — 11am Pacific on ESPN2

2. Boston University v. 15. RIT — 2pm Pacific on ESPNU

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