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2019 Los Angeles Kings Top 25 Under 25: Honorable Mentions

Not everyone can make the big list! Here’s all our extras.

2019 NHL Draft - Portraits Photo by Kevin Light/Getty Images

Jewels from the Crown begins its Top 25 Under 25 series this week with a series of posts highlighting players who weren’t eligible for this year’s ranking, as well as players who just missed the cut. Player profiles will begin on Monday, August 12.

Having a plethora of prospects to choose from during this year’s voting means that inevitably players are going to be left off of the ranking. That’s just math!

Today, we take a look at our honorable mentions — players who just missed out on the top 25 — as well as players a little further down the list. All players are listed in alphabetical order by last name. The team listed is where the player spent the majority of the 2018-19 season.

Alexander Dergachyov

Forward, SKA St. Petersburg (KHL)
2015, 3rd round draft pick
2018-19 Stats: 31 GP, 5 G, 2A
2018 Ranking: #24

The description of Dergachyov on begins with the phrase “a huge unit,” which helps explain a bit of why the Kings drafted him back in 2015. A gritty power forward type, Dergachyov had two good seasons in the MHL, the Russian juniors league, but he’s been a regular KHL player since the 2015-16 season and has never recorded more than 11 points total.

Braden Doyle

Defense, Lawrence Academy (USHS)
2019, 6th round draft pick
2018-19 Stats: 28 GP, 5 G, 24 A
2018 Ranking: Not eligible

At 17 years old, Doyle was on the young end of the spectrum of players drafted this year, but the Kings saw something about the puck-moving 6’0” defenseman that made them want to get him in the system now. Doyle, who played high school hockey last season, will return to the USHL’s Dubuque Fighting Saints for the 2019-20 season, and is committed to Boston University.

Aidan Dudas

Center, Owen Sound Attack (OHL)
2018, 4th round draft pick
2018-19 Stats: 68 GP, 26 G, 36 A
2018 Ranking: Honorable Mention

Playing on a somewhat mediocre Owen Sound team certainly hasn’t helped raise Dudas’ profile, with this being the second season in a row he’s missed the cut for the top 25. His points production was down slightly in comparison to 2017-18, but he made his professional debut with the Ontario Reign at the end of last season, recording two assists over six games and getting a taste of professional hockey. Dudas, still just 19, will return to Owen Sound for the 2019-20 season.

David Hrenak

Goaltender, St. Cloud State University (NCAA)
2018, 5th round draft pick
2018-19 Stats: 31 GP, 2.18 GAA, .906 Sv%
2018 Ranking: Honorable Mention

Hrenak’s overall stats took a slight dip as compared to his 2017-18 freshman season with St. Cloud. Hrenak was in net for the top-seeded St. Cloud’s stunning defeat to underdog American International College in the NCAA regional semifinals, but his team didn’t exactly help him out, either — he allowed two goals, and St. Cloud didn’t get on the board until nearly halfway through the third.

Cole Hults

Defense, Penn State (NCAA)
2017, 5th round draft pick
2018-19 Stats: 39 GP, 6 G, 22 A
2018 Ranking: Honorable Mention

Hults, 21, had another strong season at Penn State, reaching new highs in goals, points, and assists, while cutting down in total penalty minutes. Of all defensemen in the Big Ten, Hults’ 28 points were third highest and his plus-19 rating was second highest. He hasn’t received the national team attention that put a player like Mikey Anderson more on fans’ radar, but Hults plays a solid game and has just gotten better with more experience.

Boko Imama

Left wing, Ontario Reign (AHL)
2017, acquired via trade with Tampa Bay Lightning
2018-19 Stats: 34 GP, 3 G, 3 A
2018 Ranking: #22

Imama made last year’s list despite recording precisely one point in 38 games. His former team, the Tampa Bay Lightning, encouraged him in his final season of juniors to focus more on scoring, and he succeeded handily, increasing his goals scored from 7 to 41. He hasn’t maintained that same energy as a pro, however, and has failed to register as more than filling the role of enforcer.

Jacob Ingham

Goaltender, Mississauga Steelheads (OHL)
2018, 6th round draft pick
2018-19 Stats: 57 GP, 3.41 GAA, .890 Sv%
2018 Ranking: Honorable Mention

Ingham had an outstanding first year in juniors but has struggled since then. Some of that may be due to the team, as Mississauga is a team in transition. His numbers improved slightly from his 2017-18 season, but Mississauga hasn’t been successful with him in net and have moved on. Ingham was traded to the Kitchener Rangers, where he will play next season.

Cole Kehler

Goaltender, Manchester Monarchs (ECHL)
2017, free agent
2018-19 Stats: 17 GP, 4.25 GAA, .883 Sv%
2018 Ranking: Honorable Mention

Kehler spent most of the season as the number two goalie in Manchester, behind Charles Williams. Without an ECHL team of its own for next season, Kehler’s future placement is unclear, though he could back up Cal Petersen in Ontario. The Kings may prefer to have a more veteran goaltender on hand in the system, however, which means that they’d have to find an ECHL team to place Kehler with.

Andre Lee

Forward, Sioux Falls Stampede (USHL)
2019, 7th round draft pick
2018-19 Stats: 61 GP, 20 G, 15 A
2018 Ranking: Not eligible

Lee, the first of five 2019 draft picks to appear as an honorable mention, spent his junior career in Sweden before coming to the United States last season to play in the USHL. The 6’5” forward has a decent skill set of size, physicality, and shot, and now needs to take the next step to put it all together. He’ll play at the University of Massachusetts-Lowell next season.

Brad Morrison

Forward, Ontario Reign (AHL)
2018. free agent
2018-19 Stats: 50 GP, 10 G, 10 A
2018 Ranking: Honorable Mention

Morrison, who caught the Kings’ attention when recording 37 points in 16 playoff games with the Lethbridge Hurricanes, made his professional debut last season, recording 20 points over 50 games. He has speed and skill but, like many players coming out of juniors, struggled at times with the adjustment to pro hockey. With perhaps better players around him, it’s possible Morrison could blossom further with the Reign.

Jacob Moverare

Defense, Frolunda (SHL)
2016, 4th round draft pick
2018-19 Stats: 42 GP, 4 G, 3 A
2018 Ranking: #13

The 20-year old defensive defenseman played two seasons of junior hockey in North America, with his final season being hampered by injury. After turning pro, the Kings loaned Moverare to Frolunda in Sweden, which has allowed him to get consistent minutes on a high-quality team, rather than be part of the logjam on the blue line in Ontario. Playing with Frolunda has helped drive Moverare’s development, and he logged big minutes for the team as they captured both the Champions Hockey League title and the SHL championship. Moverare will return to Frolunda this season, where he’ll share the ice with fellow Kings prospect Samuel Fagemo.

Kim Nousiainen

Defense, KalPa (U20) (Jr. Liiga)
2019, 4th round draft pick
2018-19 Stats: 32 GP, 8 G, 20 A
2018 Ranking: Not Eligible

The smaller Finnish defenseman is a virtual lock to represent his country at World Juniors, and while he thinks of himself as more of an offensive defenseman, he also took on stay-at-home duties for Finland during the World Junior Summer Showcase and didn’t look out of place. He plays the kind of game you may not necessarily notice him for, but that’s usually a good thing.

Lukas Parik

Goaltender, Bili Tygri Liberec (Czech U19)
2019, 3rd round draft pick
2018-19 Stats: 32 GP, 2.85 GAA, .917 Sv%
2018 Ranking: Not Eligible

The Czech goalie is still somewhat of an unknown commodity, having played largely in the Czech leagues, as well as repenting his country in national play. He kept the Czech team in games they didn’t necessarily have much business being competitive in, however, and is known for being an agile goaltender who has strong positioning. He’ll play for the Spokane Chiefs of the WHL next season.

Chaz Reddekopp

Defense, Ontario Reign (AHL)
2015, 7th round draft pick
2018-19 Stats: 40 GP, 1 G, 9 A
2018 Ranking: #21

The 22-year old Reddekopp shuttled between Ontario and Manchester last season but could take on a bigger role in Ontario this year, with other departures on the blue line. He plays a physical game and was second on the team in penalty minutes (101), behind only Kurtis MacDermid.

Drake Rymsha

Center, Manchester Monarchs (ECHL)
2017, 5th round draft pick
2018-19 Stats: 35 GP, 8 G, 5 A
2018 Ranking: #15

Last season, Rymsha could have either returned to the OHL as an overage player or turned pro; the Kings and Rymsha decided to go pro, which resulted in a somewhat mediocre rookie campaign. Rymsha split his time between the Reign and Monarchs last season.

Bulat Shafigullin

Forward, Reaktor Nizhnekamsk (MHL)
2018, 3rd round draft pick
2018-19 Stats: 24 GP, 14 G, 18 A
2018 Ranking: Honorable Mention

With 36 points in 22 games in the MHL in his draft year, Shafigullin led the league in points per fame (of those with more than 20 games played). He’s yet to make a huge impact in the KHL, though, with just two points in 31 games last season as he bounced between the two leagues. He is known for good puck-handling skills and on-ice positioning.

Johan Sodergran

Forward, Linkoping (SHL)
2018, 6th round draft pick
2018-19 Stats: 42 GP, 8 G, 5 A
2018 Ranking: Honorable Mention

The 19-year old winger will come to Ontario this season, beginning his professional career in North America. Sodergran spent most of last season with Linköping and also saw time with the national team, representing Sweden at the most recent World Juniors tournament.

Jordan Spence

Defense, Moncton Wildcats (QMJHL)
2019, 4th round draft pick
2018-19 Stats: 68 GP, 6 G, 43 A
2018 Ranking: Not Eligible

Spence, who has one of the most interesting backgrounds of a draft pick that I’ve seen recently — Canadian, via Japan and Australia — has good speed and on-ice vision. He led all rookies in the QMJHL in points and has a history of rising up to prove doubters wrong.

Austin Strand

Defense, Ontario Reign (AHL)
2017, free agent
2018-19 Stats: 43 GP, 7 G, 11 A
2018 Ranking: #23

The 6’4” defenseman put up eye-popping numbers in his final year of junior hockey — 25 goals and 64 points total over 69 regular season games — leading the Kings to sign him as a free agent, but the adjustment to professional hockey has come a bit slower for him. Strand went back and forth between the AHL and ECHL last season but spent the bulk of his time with the Reign.