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2018 Los Angeles Kings Top 25 Under 25: #9 Mike Amadio

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A 17-game points streak in Ontario earned Amadio a lengthy call-up last year. Can he stick with the big club this year?

NHL: Stanley Cup Playoffs-Los Angeles Kings at Vegas Golden Knights Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

Our annual Top 25 Under 25 countdown has begun! The rankings were determined by a combination of reader voting and our staff’s own voting. We then combined the reader rankings (50%) and the staff rankings (50%) to determine the top 25. To be eligible for the countdown, a player must be 24 or younger on October 3, 2018, when the 2018-19 NHL season begins.

We’re taking a look at the best and the brightest in the Los Angeles Kings organization in our sixth annual Top 25 Under 25 countdown. At the #9 spot today, we have Mike Amadio.

Position: Forward
Age: 22 (May 13, 1996)
2017-18 Team: Los Angeles Kings, Ontario Reign (AHL)
2017-18 Statistics: NHL: 37 GP, 4 G, 4 A, 8 P (Playoffs: 1 GP, 0 G, 1 A, 1 P). AHL: 32 GP. 11 G, 24 A, 35 P (Playoffs: 4 GP, 1 G, 3 A, 4 P)
Jewels Reader Ranking: 9
Jewels Staff Ranking: 7
Last Year’s Ranking: 5

Mike Amadio’s spent the past several years bouncing around these rankings; he debuted at 23 in 2015, shot up to the number six spot the next year, and the fifth spot last year. Not to spoil the remainder of the countdown for you, but it’s probably safe to say that the shift in Amadio’s positioning has less to do with Amadio himself than it does with the acquisition of newer, highly-touted prospects.

Last year, we were impressed with Amadio’s poise and discipline as he attracted notice on the half of the Kings’ split squad that remained in the US, while the big name players all went to China. While he started the season in Ontario, he earned a brief, early call-up to the Kings, just long enough to score his first goal against the Toronto Maple Leafs.

And while Amadio was probably not thrilled with having to return to Ontario, he took advantage of the opportunity to be a top-line player. Centering Jonny Brodzinski and Matt Mouslon, Amadio went on an absolute tear through the AHL, recording points in 17 straight games. He recorded nine goals and 19 assists over that time; the point streak was the longest in the AHL last year. The trio of Amadio, Brodzinski, and Moulson helped revive the Reign from a terrible start to the season, winning games and banking points to push them into playoff contention. He was named Player of the Month in the AHL for December, where he had 21 points in 14 games, leading all AHL skaters, and was easily the Reign’s MVP in the front half of the season.

Amadio earned himself a well-deserved call-up after that, and he fit in almost seamlessly with the Kings on his second go-round. He helped anchor the bottom six, and while his linemates weren’t the best positioned to help with secondary scoring — he spent the bulk of his time with Andy Andreoff, Torrey Mitchell, and Kyle Clifford — Amadio played a calm, collected game and impressed in limited minutes.

While Amadio’s 2017-18 audition with the big club went well, there are clearly areas for growth. As a centerman, face-offs aren’t everything, but improvement from his 43% success rate would be good. Additionally, despite getting mostly offensive zone starts, the Kings still found themselves surrendering more shots when Amadio was on the ice. As Amadio is still waiver-exempt, it’s highly possible that he will start the season in Ontario, unless a very strong camp (and/or a trade of someone currently slotted for the bottom six) forces the team’s hand. That may come as a disappointment to Amadio, but he’s responded very well to disappointment before — another epic points streak could see him called back up very quickly.