The Los Angeles Kings are the defending Stanley Cup
Champions. The Kings made a couple of moves during the season in order to make
the playoffs such as trading away defenseman Jack Johnson to the Columbus Blue
Jackets in exchange for star center Jeff Carter.
This edition of the Prospect Preview is a little
different. This article will profile undrafted defenseman Alex Roach, who is
currently with the Western Hockey League's Calgary Hitmen.
Teams overlooked Roach at the 2011 National Hockey
League Entry Draft, and as a result, he became a free agent. Luckily, for
Roach, the Kings signed him to an entry-level contract after he was invited to
their September camp.
Roach, currently in his third season in Calgary,
will never be an offensive defenseman. His production from the blueline is a
major reason why teams may have decided against taking him. His agility and
mobility are another area in which Roach could improve.
It is not all bad for Roach, as he does possess the
size necessary to make it to the NHL and he has a great shot from the point.
He is able to cover a lot of ice with his good
reach, but as stated above, improvement in his mobility could expand his reach.
Roach improved a lot over the last two seasons. His
improvement, combined with his excellent physical abilities such as toughness
and strength, make him a hassle to take the puck from.
As of now, Roach is enjoying a solid start to the
season. In six games, he has posted two goals and two assists. He is also a
leader for the Hitmen on and off the ice.
This signing could work out in the end for the
Kings. A team can never have too many defenseman, and while Roach is certainly
a project, if the Kings let him grow his game and give him time to adjust to
the pros, we could be seeing Roach in the NHL.
On Thursday's edition of the Prospect Preview, I
will profile Boston Bruins 2012 first round pick Malcolm Subban.