(This is a guest post from everybody's favourite
retired dead former Battle of California writer, Rudy Kelly.)
When you read a few scouting reports about Nick Shore, you’ll see a few words repeated over and over again: “smart,” “two-way” & “dependable.”
Well… “the.” “And.” “Hockey” probably shows up a lot too. “Denver,” since that’s where he played. They always mention his brother Drew a bit. “Skating.”
OK, so there are a bunch of words that will be repeated over and over again in scouting reports about Nick Shore, but among all those words you’ll probably find the words “smart,” “two-way” & dependable.”
Nick Shore is an even six-foot center who spent the last 3 seasons at the University of Denver. Nick had a solid first season as a 17-year old and an excellent sophomore year as Denver’s #2 center (behind his brother, Drew). Nick struggled a little this season being “the man” for Denver this year, leading the team in points with 34 and finishing 2nd in goals with 14.
Shore’s the Kings’ second best center prospect behind Linden Vey and arguably one of only two center prospects worth anything on the team; that is, unless you consider Jordan Weal a real prospect which ahahahahahaha…
WOO! Good stuff.
Vey & Shore have some surface similarities: they’re roughly the same height, they’re both right-handed, they are primarily playmakers rather than goal scorers, and they can both play right wing as well as center. Vey has a higher upside and is a better playmaker while Shore is better defensively and has a little more edge to his game.
One thing I like about Shore is that he doesn’t have any illusions about where his path to the NHL lies. Every interview with him shows his desire to do whatever he needs to be an NHLer, whether it’s 1st line or 4th.
This last season proved that he’ll never be a core member of a team, never an All-Star, but he should be a valuable contributor nevertheless. The keys for him this season in Manchester are to adapt to the pro game and, like every Kings prospect, work on his game along the boards. Shore will most likely play with Andy Andreoff or Brandon Kozun so he’ll have a solid mentor to help him in his transition. Shore will most likely center the “3rd line” in Manchester but he should have the 2nd toughest assignment. This will be a good learning experience for him.
Long-term, I think Shore might honestly have an inside track on Vey for the role of 3rd line center. Shore has the game the Kings want in that position and Vey can always shift to right wing with ease. I don't think the Kings would have a problem sticking Shore into the 4th line center spot, either. He doesn't get talked about much but Shore probably has a better chance of becoming an LA King that a lot of the guys above him on this list.
And definitely better than Jordan Weal. I mean, can you imagine? Bahahahahahahahaha he's so small hahahahahahahaha.