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Welcome to the Jewels from the Crown Top 25 Under 25

25 hockey players, 100 per cent fun

Tanner Pearson! Is he on the list? Probably. But you'll have to read to find out!
Tanner Pearson! Is he on the list? Probably. But you'll have to read to find out!
Jamie Sabau

Hey, it's August, and that means that we have a lot to talk about!

Wait, no, I mean the opposite of that. We don't have a lot of Kings news to talk about right now, so, like a couple of other SBNation hockey blogs, we've decided to steal and adapt Copper & Blue's Top 25 Under 25 feature. You should stick around, because it's going to be fun. And informative. Or your money back!


Even after trading for some more seasoned players, the Kings remain one of the youngest teams in the league. Justin Williams at age 31 is the oldest forward on the team, Willie Mitchell at age 36 is the oldest defenceman, and the team as it's currently constituted only has five players over age 30. The team's best player, Anže Kopitar, at 25, barely misses out on qualifying for this list. Plus, Jonathan Quick looks about sixteen, which definitely drags down the team's symbolic average age.

A lot of real and digital ink has been spilled about the Kings' youth movement, but with the losses of young players/prospects Wayne Simmonds, Andrei Loktionov, Brayden Schenn, and Thomas Hickey, the top end of that youth movement looks quite a bit different than it did during the days when the Kings had one of the most highly-regarded prospect pools in hockey. It's been a while since Jewels from the Crown took a comprehensive look at the Kings' up-and-comers, so we decided to borrow the Top 25 Under 25 format to do so.

<h4>Qualifying players</h4>

40 players from the Kings' reserve list are under 25. We removed Oscar Möller from consideration, since he's made it clear that he's not returning to the Kings. The rest are listed below, by descending age. Where a player changed teams during the 2012-13 season, I listed the team with which he spent the majority of the season.

Player Position Age 2012-13 team Contract status
Keaton Ellerby LD 24 LA Kings UFA in 2014
Jake Muzzin LD 24 LA Kings RFA in 2015
Jordan Nolan RW 24 LA Kings RFA in 2015
Dwight King LW 24 LA Kings RFA in 2014
Drew Doughty RD 23 LA Kings UFA in 2019
Martin Jones G 23 Manchester Monarchs RFA
Slava Voynov RD 23 LA Kings UFA in 2019
Robbie Czarnik C 23 Manchester Monarchs RFA in 2014
Brandon Kozun RW 23 Manchester Monarchs RFA In 2014
Nic Dowd C 23 St. Cloud State (NCAA) unsigned
Kyle Clifford LW 22 LA Kings RFA in 2015
Nick Deslauriers LD 22 Manchester Monarchs RFA in 2014
Andy Andreoff C 22 Manchester Monarchs RFA in 2014
Jean-François Bérubé G 22 Ontario Reign
RFA in 2014
Linden Vey C 22 Manchester Monarchs RFA in 2014
Joel Lowry LW 21 Cornell (NCAA) unsigned
Maxim Kitsyn LW 21 HC Sarov (VHL) RFA in 2016
Derek Forbort LD 21 University of North Dakota (NCAA) RFA in 2016
Kevin Gravel LD 21 St. Cloud State (NCAA) unsigned
Jordan Weal C 21 Manchester Monarchs RFA in 2015
Tyler Toffoli RW 21 Manchester Monarchs RFA in 2015
Tanner Pearson LW 21 Manchester Monarchs RFA in 2015
Paul LaDue LD 20 Lincoln Stars (USHL) unsigned
Nick Shore C 20 University of Denver (NCAA) RFA in 2016
Michael Mersch LW 20 University of Wisconsin (NCAA) unsigned
Colin Miller RD 20 Sault Ste Marie Greyhounds (OHL) RFA in 2016
Tomas Hyka RW 20 Gatineau Olympiques (QMJHL) unsigned
Patrik Bartosak G 20 Red Deer Rebels (WHL) unsigned
Alex Roach LD 20 Calgary Hitmen (WHL) RFA in 2015
Jonny Brodzinski C 20 St. Cloud State (NCAA) unsigned
Nikolai Prokhorkin LW 19 CSKA Moscow RFA in 2015
Zach Leslie LD 19 Guelph Storm (OHL) unsigned
Kurtis MacDermid RD 19 Owen Sound Attack (OHL) RFA in 2015
Nick Ebert RD 19 Windsor Spitfires (OHL) unsigned
Justin Auger RW 19 Guelph Storm (OHL) unsigned
Valentin Zykov LW 18 Baie-Comeau Drakkar (QMJHL) unsigned
Hudson Fasching RW 18 USNTDP unsigned
Dominik Kubalik LW 17 Sudbury Wolves (OHL) unsigned

<h4>Methodology & results</h4>

All five members of the blog's current regular writing staff (Robert, John, Nick, Eric, and me) voted on our Top 25 Kings players/prospects under 25, as did former JftC head honcho Quisp, retired Battle of California Kings writer Rudy Kelly, current BoC Kings writer Ryan Dunn, Kings voice at The Hockey Writers Sheng Peng, and LA Kings Insider Jon Rosen. We each did our rankings by using the same basic method, taken from Habs Eye on the Prize: asking ourselves the question, would you trade any player straight-up for any other one? Who is more valuable going forward to the team? If choosing between two players, who would you rather have from a pure talent perspective?

Every player save three unfortunate souls (Dominik Kubalik, Zach Leslie, Joel Lowry) got at least one vote. The nine players who received votes but didn't make the Top 25, in descending order of popularity, are: Alex Roach, Jean-François Bérubé, Jonny Brodzinski, Robbie Czarnik, Paul LaDue, Nic Dowd, Patrik Bartosak, and Kurtis MacDermid. These players can be sorted into two basic groups: older guys who maybe haven't progressed as well as could be hoped (Bérubé, Czarnik, Dowd), and recently drafted or recently signed less-heralded guys whose place in the Kings' prospect pool hasn't yet been well-established (Roach, Brodzinski, LaDue, Bartosak, MacDermid).

The remaining under-25 players comprise our final Top 25 list, which we look forward to you analysing, debating, and generally tearing apart - starting tomorrow, with Mystery Bachelor #25.