Daily News Kings getting ready for Rookie Faceoff in Nevada


They see me rollin'. They hatin'.
Staff member
Jul 28, 2004
While the Kings’ summer was far from uneventful, fans haven’t had the chance to see the black and silver on the ice for nearly two months.

That’ll change Thursday, when some of the youngest Kings will skate at Toyota Sports Performance Center in El Segundo ahead of the Rookie Faceoff event that’ll take place from Friday to Monday in the Las Vegas area. The Kings will bookend the trip to play games in both Henderson and Summerlin, Nevada, with morning practices in El Segundo, beginning around at 10 a.m and 9:45 a.m., respectively.

While marquee acquisitions like center Pierre-Luc Dubois and goalie Cam Talbot won’t be striding along the ice in Nevada, their impact and that of other recent veteran acquisitions like winger Kevin Fiala will certainly be felt, albeit indirectly. Once touted as the deepest prospect pool in the NHL by many analysts, the Kings have accelerated their build by committing resources to the parent club.

Not only have they turned over all but two players from their two Stanley Cup-winning rosters (2012, 2014), but recently they’ve been trading picks and prospects alike to snag players like Dubois and Fiala, who cost them their last two first-round picks as well as multiple prospects.

That doesn’t mean the group competing in exhibitions against the San Jose Sharks (1 p.m. Friday in Summerlin, Nevada), the Arizona Coyotes (3:30 p.m. Saturday, Summerlin) and Monday with the Ducks (12:30 p.m. Monday, Henderson, Nevada).

In total, the Kings will travel with 27 players, including their top two selections in this year’s draft, defenseman Jakub Dvorak and winger Koehn Ziemmer, as well as goalie Erik Portillo, whose rights the Kings acquired in a trade with the Buffalo Sabres on March 1.

Among the more familiar faces will be Francesco Pinelli, a forward fresh off a 90-point junior campaign, and Ontario Reign (American Hockey League) regulars like winger Martin Chromiak and center Samuel Helenius. Chromiak, who finished seventh on the Ontario Reign in scoring last season, will be its most productive player attending the tournament.

The Kings have made the playoffs in each of the past two campaigns after a three-season absence, and now seek to ascend to the level of serious contention. A version of the roster that will most closely resemble the one that will be in pursuit of the Stanley Cup this season will debut Sept. 23, when the Kings and Arizona Coyotes will clash in Melbourne, Australia, for the first NHL games in the Southern Hemisphere.

Locally, the Kings’ local broadcast situation for the upcoming season largely remains a mystery, but ticketing and streaming information for the Rookie Faceoff tournament can be found on the Vegas Golden Knights’ website. The games from Down Under will be broadcast on NHL Network, where a documentary series about the trip will also begin airing Oct. 2.

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