Sometimes it pays to have rich parents. The Los Angeles Kings have reached an agreement with Eisbaren Berlin of the DEL to have a group of five young players loaned overseas for the next while. The two hockey teams are owned by the same parent company, Anschutz Entertainment Group. Alex Turcotte, Tyler Madden, Akil Thomas, Aidan Dudas, and Jacob Ingham will join the DEL as they prepare for their upcoming season, though will all be back when NHL training camps get underway.
Not only will these players get a chance to stay on the ice training with a professional environment, but it can also serve as a relationship and chemistry building experience for a group that will be integral to the Kings success down the line.
Turcotte, the headliner here and one of the top prospects in the NHL, was the fifth-overall pick in 2019. After a strong rookie season at the University of Wisconsin, Turcotte signed his entry-level contract and could be competing for an NHL roster spot as soon as the 2020-21 season gets underway. The 19-year-old center scored 26 points in 29 games for Wisconsin but is also known for his strong defensive game.
Madden meanwhile came to the Kings organization in the Tyler Toffoli trade with Vancouver and also decided to sign his entry-level contract this spring. Two outstanding years at Northeastern University turned Madden from a third-round lottery ticket into a top prospect and he’ll now be a name to watch in the coming years.
Thomas, Dudas, and Ingham were all selected by the Kings in 2018 and are each coming off excellent performances in the OHL.
Thomas started the year on the struggling Niagara IceDogs but ended up with the Peterborough Petes, a club that had their eye on the Memorial Cup before things were shutdown for the year. The 20-year-old forward had 84 points in just 49 games and continued to show why he should have been picked above 51.
Dudas was a fourth-round selection but actually managed to make his AHL debut in the spring of 2019, scoring two points in six games with the Ontario Reign. While he’s undersized, the 20-year-old center continues to shatter expectations and even made it onto the 2020 Canadian World Juniors team.
Ingham, the lone goaltender of the bunch, was just a sixth-round pick of the Kings a couple of years ago but had the best season of his life this year with Kitchener. With a 33-8-5 record and .917 save percentage he was one of the best goalies in the league, while also taking home the OHL Humanitarian Award for his work with Hockey Gives Blood, an organization that helps raise awareness about the importance of donating blood.