Kings Sign Prospect Nikolai Prokhorkin; Next Step, AHL?

The Los Angeles Kings have signed their second prospect from the 2012 draft, 19-year-old Nikolai Prokhorkin, to a three year entry level contract. The details first appeared on Capgeek. The Russian site Championat had this breakdown:

Under this agreement the forward will earn $662,500 playing in the NHL and $65,000 playing in the AHL.  In addition, each year Prohorkin will be paid a bonus of $87,500.

It's been a busy summer for the young Russian, who first flew out for the combine and the draft in June. He fell to the Kings in the fourth round, attended the Kings' prospect development camp and celebrated his 19th birthday early in July, then played in the Canada-Russia challenge tournament in August.

Now that his contract is taken care of, he looks all set to play somewhere in North America next season. Though it's possible he could wind up playing on a Canadian junior team, he wants to play in the AHL.

"First goal" is to make the Monarchs
Although Prokhorkin was selected by the London Knights of the OHL in this year's import draft, that appears to be a "Plan B" for both sides. The Knights wanted a little insurance in case some of their other import players were unavailable, and also knew that Prokhorkin had set his sights on the AHL.

The Knights picked Prokhorkin as protection on the chance Finnish defenceman Olli Maatta, the Pittsburgh first-rounder who would obviously one of London's two import players, happens to stick in the NHL next year -- or Zadorov, a first-round pick in the Kontinental Hockey League's junior draft, fails to show up.

"He's a '93 (birth year) and property of the L.A. Kings, and his first goal is to make their American Hockey League team," Hunter said, "but if he doesn't, he might fall to us.

"You go in with a plan and you have to be prepared if things change."

As of now, Maatta expects to be back to play for London, but nothing is set in stone. If the Knights reach their limit of two import players, and Prokhorkin needs a place to play, London would trade him. But there can be no doubt about his desire to play in North America.

We'll have to see if he makes the Monarchs. With the likes of 20 year olds like Pearson and Toffoli also heading in, the farm should be fun to watch.

Read More

  • Draft Profile of Prokhorkin -- A solid two way forward who isn't afraid to get physical.
    Review of his play in the Canada-Russia Challenge, where he was used in a checking role: "Prokhorkin was a standout for Russia because of his ability on the forecheck and his great physical presence, something Russia seemed to lack."
    Interview with Sports -- He gives two thumbs up to LA's weather, describes the challenges of international travel in competition, and took in a baseball game for the first time, though he was puzzled by the slow pace. Well, all sports can't be as zippy and crash-bang as hockey./

So welcome to the Kings family, Bulky Russian Timberlake. We like you already.