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Keeping Up with the Kids - Manchester Monarchs and Adrian Kempe

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Our penultimate update of the regular season.

Swedish model turned hockey player making Glamour Shots look good
Swedish model turned hockey player making Glamour Shots look good
Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images

The Manchester Monarchs have three games left in their schedule for this season. As you know, Modo is done for the season but had to play some relegation games in a lower league to ensure their contract for next season.

Huge news came out this morning, though. Adrian Kempe arrived in Manchester, New Hampshire yesterday and could make his professional North American debut on Friday. Jon Rosen later confirmed that Kempe signed an ATO with the Monarchs and reportedly, Modo doesn't expect him back.

While nothing is confirmed about an ELC, Kempe seems like he's ready to make the jump across the pond permanently.

I'm not sure if I've mentioned it, but damn I love this kid.

Seems like Head Coach Mike Stothers put Kempe through a nice bag skate (assumably to test his conditioning levels) today. The translation to the follow up tweet is amazing.

What's not to love about this kid who turned 18 in September? Anyway, Kempe will wear #9 for the Monarchs and the lines could look something like this:

Although, let's just say that lines are fluid under Stothers so Kempe may end up seeing time with Shore (presuming he's healthy enough to play) and Dowd.

Also, John Hoven believes that Kempe will be offered an ELC after playoffs. However, nothing "official" has been said so I guess take that with a grain of salt.

Andy Tonge of Mayor's Manor is super jammed so go check out his twitter timeline to see what he thinks of the best team in the AHL.

Speaking of which, let's get down to some other Monarchs news.

Manchester Monarchs

With a weekend sweep, the Monarchs are proud owners of the best record in the league.

It's basically the equivalent of the President's Trophy in the AHL. They look like a very strong group so I'm hoping this isn't a case of when Vancouver won the President's Trophy like 3 years in a row by feasting on weak competition in their division, similar to what the Monarchs do now, but never managing to win the championship title.

The Monarchs are well coached, though, and according to Tonge, Kings management seems very happy with him right now. One thing that's very different about Stother's approach is that he makes this team shoot more. He harps on them to shoot far more often than Morris apparently did. Per Tonge, the Kings now seem more interested in a hands on development. It could be a coincidence, or maybe not. Just an interesting thing to know. I'll be curious to see how Stothers and the rest of the team adjusts to a tougher division and schedule next season.


Manchester Monarchs 2014-15 Individual Stats

# Player Pos GP G A PTS +/- PIM PP SHG SOG SH%
22 Brian O'Neill RW 69 22 56 78 28 55 9 2 164 13.4
19 Jordan Weal C 70 19 46 65 7 52 8 0 179 10.6
6 Colin Miller D 68 19 32 51 10 80 10 0 181 10.5
27 Michael Mersch LW 73 20 23 43 17 25 7 2 215 9.3
37 Nick Shore (X) C 38 20 22 42 23 16 7 3 101 19.8
16 Sean Backman RW 73 18 24 42 14 30 3 0 233 7.7
26 Nic Dowd C 72 8 32 40 16 39 2 0 113 7.1
10 Zach O'Brien RW 60 14 18 32 13 4 0 1 121 11.6
39 Justin Auger RW 69 12 16 28 14 57 0 0 114 10.5
14 David Van der Gulik LW 54 11 13 24 11 39 1 2 93 11.8
7 Andrew Bodnarchuk D 59 5 19 24 11 84 2 0 118 4.2
5 Vincent LoVerde D 62 9 11 20 12 63 4 0 79 11.4
55 Jeff Schultz D 52 3 13 16 17 30 1 0 60 5
21 Andrew Crescenzi C 52 7 8 15 -7 60 2 1 55 12.7
4 Kevin Gravel D 55 6 9 15 15 23 2 0 76 7.9
3 Derek Forbort D 64 4 11 15 21 50 1 0 94 4.3
18 Mike Richards (X) C 16 3 11 14 6 4 1 0 39 7.7
13 Josh Gratton LW 43 5 7 12 -1 80 0 0 34 14.7
23 Nick Ebert D 42 8 3 11 10 18 0 0 52 15.4
24 Ryan Horvat LW 52 3 8 11 -2 89 0 0 53 5.7
25 Scott Sabourin RW 48 4 6 10 -5 134 1 0 67 6
15 Paul Bissonnette (total) LW 53 1 6 7 -6 150 0 0 35 2.9
POR LW 8 0 0 0 -1 0 0 0 8 0
MCH LW 45 1 6 7 -5 150 0 0 27 3.7
33 Kevin Raine D 50 2 2 4 7 57 0 0 46 4.3
40 Alex Lintuniemi D 1 0 1 1 1 0 0 0 1 0
TOTALS 73 233 404 635 242 1264 63 11 2360 0.098
# Goalies GP Mins W L SOL SO GA GAA SVS SV%
30 Patrik Bartosak 26 1475:27:00 12 7 1 2 50 2.03 591 0.922
35 Jean-Francois Berube 51 2965:14:00 36 9 2 2 108 2.19 1129 0.913
Totals 73 4462:20:00 48 16 3 4 164 2.21 1720 0.913

Alex Lintuniemi is a 19-year-old Finnish defenseman who played for the Ottawa 67's in the CHL and was selected 60th overall at the 2014 draft. He was signed to an ATO following Ottawa's elimination from Memorial Cup playoffs. The Helsinki native picked up a point on his first shift in his first pro game by assisting on Colin Miller's wicked slapshot. He has since signed his ELC and is expected to compete for a spot on Ontario's blue line next season.

Berube continues to be awesome. He leads the league in wins and is 28 overall in save percentage.

Patrik Bartosak, aka "Barto," has moved up into ninth overall in sv%, though he's played considerably fewer games than Berube. He, however, is quite the adventurous netminder and doesn't really adhere to the traditional butterfly (by his own admission). I suspect he's a lot of fun to watch, even if he can be a bit scary. Much like another goaltender in LA's system...

Michael Mersch has been on an absolute tear of late. He started off the year a little slow but has points in seven of his last eight games. His type of play is to crash the net (similar to Marian Gaborik) so he could end up as a 20 goal scorer in the NHL.

Fancy Stats

Stick tap to Josh Weissbock for compiling these and making them publicly available. Thank you for your services.

Data compiled by Josh Weissbock. Last updated 2014-04-01.

AHL Stats

The Monarchs have been a bit up and down this year, though that's to be expected. They finally managed to overtake Utica at the top of the American Corsi Hockey League standings with the best Fenwick Close %. However, this hasn't been updated in a couple of weeks so things may have changed.

But it's interesting to visually compare where the Monarchs were a year ago to where they are now, at least in terms of team defense and shot suppression (two staples of the Kings' game).

Coming Up

April 2015
DATE VISITOR HOME TIME (ET) GAME RESULTS TICKETS
Wednesday Apr. 1, 2015 Monarchs Devils 7:00 PM Monarchs (2) - Devils (1)
Friday Apr. 3, 2015 Monarchs Pirates 7:00 PM Monarchs (4) - Pirates (3)
Saturday Apr. 4, 2015 Monarchs Wolf Pack 7:00 PM Monarchs (2) - Wolf Pack (3)
Friday Apr. 10, 2015 Pirates Monarchs 7:00 PM Pirates (2) - Monarchs (3)
Saturday Apr. 11, 2015 Monarchs Sound Tigers 7:00 PM Monarchs (5) - Sound Tigers (3)
Sunday Apr. 12, 2015 Monarchs Sound Tigers 3:00 PM Monarchs (4) - Sound Tigers (0)
Friday Apr. 17, 2015 Pirates Monarchs 7:00 PM BUY
Saturday Apr. 18, 2015 Sharks Monarchs 7:00 PM BUY
Sunday Apr. 19, 2015 Monarchs Bruins 3:05 PM

The Monarchs have two home games left where they close out the VIP Cup series against the Portland Pirates (Arizona Coyotes), which Monarchs lead 8-3 and will win for the second consecutive year. On Saturday, they play the Worcester Sharks (San Jose Sharks) then head out to Providence on Sunday to take on the Bruins (Boston Bruins).

The first date of AHL playoffs hasn't been announced yet but it'll probably be somewhere around April 24.

The Monarchs' most likely first round opponent will either be Portland or the Springfield Falcons (Columbus Blue Jackets), both of which present a challenge to the Monarchs. Portland currently has the tiebreaker against Springfield, plus a game in hand and only have to win two of their three games. Springfield would have to win both their games this weekend and hope that Portland loses two in order to move on.

Portland always plays Manchester tough physically with lots of fights but Springfield has solid goaltending and pretty good forward depth so it's kind of a toss up and it's only a five game series in the first round.