[UPDATED] Defenseman Derek Forbort Called Up from Manchester

The Kings' first round draft pick in 2010 has never played a game for Los Angeles. Could that change on Thursday?

Alec Martinez's concussion appears to be more than a one-game injury, so the Los Angeles Kings are going to the Manchester Monarchs' well one more time for a call-up. This time, it's a new guy: Derek Forbort, according to Lisa Dillman (via the Kings hockey operations department).

[UPDATE, 9:00 AM, WED: The Kings have announced Forbort's promotion to the NHL.]

In general, the Los Angeles Kings don't rush prospects to the NHL. Whether that's due to the Kings' depth or a loyalty to veteran players, every Kings draftee since Drew Doughty has had to pay their dues before getting a lineup spot. (Even Tanner Pearson and Tyler Toffoli played a combined 182 games with the Manchester Monarchs.) Even by those standards, though, Forbort has had a long wait. Forbort was drafted with the 15th pick at the 2010 NHL Draft, which is rather infamous for three reasons:

  1. The Draft was in Los Angeles;
  2. the Kings traded up to make the pick;
  3. the St. Louis Blues took Vladimir Tarasenko with the very next selection.

If you go to Dean Lombardi today, I'm sure he'll tell you he has no regrets, as Forbort's selection was a sensible one, with an eye toward the future. Forbort played three seasons at the University of North Dakota after the pick, so his peers had a head start; in fact, it was enough of a head start for every single one of the other first round picks to have played at least one NHL game. (The last Draft in which every first-rounder played at least one NHL game: the loaded 2003 Draft.) So this day has been a long time coming.

The 22-year-old Forbort has only played one full season in Manchester, though, and leading up to his second season he was already making strides within the organization, even if some other prospects were getting more of the buzz. Forbort's preseason play wasn't all that great so expectations were tempered quite a bit, but 2014-15 was the year he needed to make an impact, and he has. Though Colin Miller has been one of this year's breakout stars in Manchester, Forbort has been the reliable defender for the conference-leading Monarchs. As such, he is -- once again -- the sensible pick.

No word on whether Forbort will be in the lineup on Thursday night against the Calgary Flames.