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LA Kings' Top 25 Under 25: #7 - Linden Vey

*Knock* *Knock* "Who's there?" "It's Linden Vey assholes, let me in."

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Spor

Linden Vey was drafted in the 4th round of the 2009 draft. He is currently in his 3rd year with the Monarchs after rounding out his Junior career by leading the WHL and all of Juniors in scoring in 2010-11. He plays a heady two way game and polishes it off with enough skill to potentially be a number two center in the show.

Vey was drafted as a RW but was moved over to center last year and flourished. This was a huge boon for the Kings, which allowed them to feel more comfortable fulfilling Andrei Loktionov’s request for a trade even though the system has gotten thin down the middle in recent years. Vey centered one of the AHL’s most formidable lines (Pearson-Vey-Toffoli) and piled up a team leading 67 points. Those 67 AHL points translate to about 36 points in the NHL (using the currently accepted methodology for equivalencies), which would have put him 7th in points per game for LA.

Vey forces a turnover and scores an unassisted goal for Manchester:

In addition to his offensive contributions, Vey’s defensive game is steadily improving. He was on the Monarchs top penalty killing unit last year and continues to be this season. Defense is an area of the game that Vey continues to work on as he told Frozen Royalty’s Gann Matsuda in a recent interview:

“All they said was that you’ve got to keep improving, that you’ve come a long way, especially in the defensive zone,” said Vey. “But if you want play in the NHL and make an impact, you’ve got to make sure that all parts of your game are well-rounded."

“If you look at who’s on [the ice] at the end of a game, when they need a goal, or if they’re up a goal, it’s the same players,” Vey emphasized. “Guys like Kopitar can play in every zone. He’s so reliable at both ends of the ice.”

“If you look at [centers] like [Jarret] Stoll, [Mike] Richards and Kopitar, their games are so well-rounded,” Vey added. “They can play in all situations. That’s the type of player I want to be. I want to be a guy who can play in every situation.”

The Kings had a lot of centermen on the roster coming into the season and Vey was a longshot coming into camp. He put in a strong showing and was one of the final cuts. The Monarchs have started this season off hot (4-0-1) as Vey continues to be the team’s 1C. So far, he has 1 goal and 5 assists as he remains right on the cusp of a call up. With some question marks about the play of L.A.’s mix of 3rd line centermen this season, that call up could be coming soon.