Kings’ summertime Mountain Town Series camps take to Utah, Montana
The L.A. Kings High School Hockey League (LAKHSHL) may represent one of the top levels of play for older skaters, but that doesn’t mean the team isn’t also working to develop even younger talent across the country.
The Kings’ hockey development staff had a busy summer traveling across the northwestern United States, continuing a string of camps known as the Mountain Town Series. The staff, joined by team alumni, worked with groups in Montana and Utah.
At the Stumptown Ice Den in Whitefish, Mont., Kings alum Derek Armstrong – who has been involved with the LAKHSHL in various capacities since it started in 2015 – set the pace for the first camp with an on-ice curriculum that included instruction on shooting, passing, skating and stickhandling. The week-long camp focused on developing all aspects of each participant’s game.
More than 35 players from various states across the West Coast and Canada came together for five days of fun and skill development. Campers celebrated the end of a successful week with a competitive scrimmage and giveaways of LA Kings-signed memorabilia.
“Working with the kids in Whitefish was an awesome experience,” said Kings hockey development coordinator Cody von Rueden. “Hockey is taking off in Montana, and it was really important to provide an elite NHL-style youth hockey camp in the hockey community there.”
The Kings hockey development team had a rewarding experience working with the youth hockey community in Park City, Utah, at their camp in January, and they returned for the first ever week-long Kings Camp Park City.
Coached by Armstrong and fellow Kings alum Kyle Calder, the Park City camp included two hours of on-ice instruction, one hour of dryland instruction and lunch each day.
All players received a camp jersey, a swag bag and the opportunity to participate in a question and answer session with Armstrong and Calder.
“We have built a fantastic relationship with Park City and the Utah hockey community,” von Rueden said. “To date, we have worked with more than 100 kids during our two camps in that community. The participation rate for hockey in Utah is growing at a rapid rate, and we have been fortunate to help with the growth in the game in that area. The future is bright for the LA Kings and Park City, and we look forward to building new programming for the years to come.”
To continue to build on the momentum built in during their camps in Utah, the Kings added a pre-season game to their schedule against the Vancouver Canucks at Vivint Smart Home Arena in late September.
The day before the game, all youth and adult players were given the rare opportunity to skate on the arena ice during a clinic with the Kings hockey development staff – something that will surely be remembered by young hockey players and their families for many years to come.
— Greg Ball
(Oct. 17, 2018)