Maxim Kitsyn

Attended my first Ontario Reign game this season and thought I'd share my thoughts on Maxim Kitsyn, currently the only Kings prospect with the Reign.

I'd seen Kitsyn play before with Russia in the WJC, and his skillset seems to have remained the same: good size, willing to crash the net, can cycle the puck until the cows come home, good instincts but just a step behind, labored with his skating. It's unfortunate that he basically wasted two full season being bounced around back in Russia, and I wonder why the Kings didn't send him to Ontario in the first place; if a guy ever needed to stay with the same team (and same linemates) for a full season of development, this is the guy.

While he'll get more ice time if he remains in Ontario the rest of the season, his development may not proceed quite as quickly as we might hope; while the Reign is a talented and winning team, they have undergone a major roster overhaul due to AHL callups and new players added when the San Francisco franchise folded. In this game, they were clearly more talented than last place Las Vegas, but the Wranglers out-worked them most of the night and the new players were clearly out of sync a lot of the time with their teammates. Kitsyn was centered by Gaspar Kopitar, another player with some skill but in desperate need of more ice time assimilating to the North American game.

So, will Kitsyn make it ? It wouldn't hurt to send him back to Ontario next year, make sure he plays with some teammates who can move the puck, and see what happens; he'll still only be 23, and by then the Kings will know if they really have something or not....too soon to start making those Kitsyn jerseys in LA, but too soon to give up on a big forward with his skills as well....

The game: Las Vegas looks like a team made up of 3rd-4th line forwards and 5th-6th defensemen; not an insult because they worked their butts off, but they didn't quite have the skill to finish off a lot of big scoring chances against a wandering Reign defense.....both their goals came on the PP, once with a 2-man advantage. The Reign had two goals in regulation against Wrangler goalie Travis Fullerton; one occurred when he dropped a high shot at his feet that was then swept into the net, and the second (and tying 3rd period goal) was probably kicked in, but fortunately for Ontario they don't go the War Room in Toronto for replays in the E. Otherwise, Fullerton was great....The Reign won it 3-2 with seven seconds remaining in OT on a horrifying bad-angle shot that trickled past Fullerton for the winner....

....I don't know how it will happen, but I left thinking that someday Travis Fullerton will play for the Kings.....

This item was written by a member of this community and not by an author of JFTC.

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