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LAKHSHL set for ’17-18 tryouts, adding roving goalie coach

 

LAKHSHL 2016-17 champion Santa Barbara Royals

It has been almost two months since the Santa Barbara Royals repeated as champions of the two-year-old L.A. Kings High School Hockey League, but the league is already making preparations for its 2017-18 season.

A full slate of tryouts is scheduled throughout the month of May, as the league’s 10 varsity teams and five junior varsity squads look to make up the rosters that they hope can lead them to a championship next winter.

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“We are opening the league to eighth graders to play at the junior varsity level this season, which we hope will allow the division to grow,” said Emma Tani, the league and rinks coordinator in the L.A. Kings’ Hockey Development division.

The Royals (pictured above) and the Valencia Vikings are the first teams on the ice, with both having tryout sessions scheduled for May 13 and May 14. The Kern County Knights will try players out on May 13 and May 20, and the El Segundo Strikers will hold sessions May 14 and May 19.

Tryouts for the West Ranch Wildcats are May 16 and May 23, and the Torrance Destroyers will hold sessions on May 19 and May 20. The Burbank Cougars and Santa Clarita Valley Cobras will each put on tryouts May 20 and May 21. The East County Outlaws and South County Aviators will hold two tryout sessions on May 20 and two on May 21, with each player required to attend one session each day.

The league’s full schedule of tryouts, along with other important information, can be found on www.lakleague.com.

Additionally, the league is considering adding two teams for the 2017-18 season, though plans are still being worked out for that potential move.

The leaders of the Kings’ high school league have also made a handful of notable changes for the 2017-18 season, all positive moves that speak to the league’s progress as it heads into its third year of existence.

The league expects to add a goalie coach to its staff, who will visit with each of the teams a handful of times each season, similar to how Derek Armstrong operates in his role as the league’s director of coaching curriculum. A series of checking clinics are also on tap, with the number of clinics, dates and locations to be announced in the coming months.

“We feel as though providing goalie instruction will be beneficial for both junior varsity and varsity goalies,” Tani said. “These clinics will allow the goalies to focus on specific skills that they may not be able to work on during practice.”

Also on tap is an expansion of the junior varsity schedule from 15-16 games for each team.

Additionally, the Kings’ league has reached an agreement with Adidas to provide soft goods for every varsity and junior varsity player throughout the league. The sporting goods company will outfit all players (new and returning) with a home and away jersey, socks, practice jersey and warmup jacket. New players will also be provided with a helmet, gloves and bag.

— Greg Ball