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Looking to make the leap: Brayden McNabb

Aug 1, 2014, 4:59 PM EDT

Brayden McNabb Getty Images

If there’s something we’ve learned from watching the Los Angeles Kings the past few seasons it’s that keeping an eye on their young players is worth doing.

After watching Tyler Toffoli and Tanner Pearson take the playoffs by storm this past season and Alec Martinez and Dwight King do the same in 2012, there’s always new faces to be mindful of. One such player next season could be defenseman Brayden McNabb.

The Kings acquired McNabb from the Buffalo Sabres at the trade deadline this past season and at 23 years old, he’s got all the makings of being a new, physical force on L.A.’s blue line.

Last season, McNabb was an AHL All-Star with the Rochester Americans. In 38 games with Rochester, he had seven goals and 29 points. While he had a chance to play a bit in Buffalo (12 games, no points, six penalty minutes), he was sent to the Kings and broke out with the Manchester Monarchs.

In 14 regular season games there, he had three goals with seven points and 18 penalty minutes. He had one assist in four playoff games for the Monarchs and was a “Black Ace” for the Kings during their run to the Stanley Cup, but it’s his 6-foot-4 and 205 pound frame that has the team holding out high hopes.

The Kings lost Willie Mitchell to the Florida Panthers in free agency, potentially opening a spot in their top-six. According to those close to the team, McNabb will get every chance in training camp to win the job.

McNabb will have serious competition against veterans Robyn Regehr and Jeff Schultz, but even if he doesn’t win right away, we’ve seen what happens with young Kings players as the season winds down and the playoffs ramp up. With a heavy shot and a physical game, he could be paired with Slava Voynov at some point.

  1. mjw9326mjw9326 - Aug 2, 2014 at 7:55 AM

    I wouldn’t hold your breath on him making it too soon. He had every chance the last couple of years, to contribute and make a solid impression in Buffalo. He never blew anyone away enough to make them keep him up with the Sabres. Other kids came in and started getting looks, plus the Sabres have a lot of kids in the pipeline coming up that will be ready for an NHL job soon.
    I think he was also likely getting close to the age and number of years of pro experience that he could not keep on going down to Rochester without getting claimed on waivers.

  2. meldboy - Aug 2, 2014 at 12:00 PM

    This kids the real deal. The Sabres made a huge mistake trading him. 2 years ago Buffalo called him up at the end of the season and he played solid. He had an injury slow him down the following year, then they traded him. He hits like a truck, is great in his own end,and has a booming shot.

  3. djshnooks - Aug 2, 2014 at 2:14 PM

    You clearly have no clue how good Hudson Fasching is supposed to be, or how good Nic Deslauriers has already looked in Buffalo.

    McNabb was expendable with Ristolainen, Zadorov, McCabe, Ruhwedel, and so many other young stud defenders in the pipeline.

    He’s a better AHL player than NHL player.

    He’s the defensive Luke Adam.

    • meldboy - Aug 2, 2014 at 5:43 PM

      You show how much you know(which is nothing) with your Luke Adams comparison. Should have hung onto McNabb and dumped Weber

      • bullwinkle88 - Aug 3, 2014 at 5:19 PM

        I agree with you Meldboy. McNabb will be a force in the NHL and I wasn’t in favor of the trade when it was made.

        However I have had a chance to see Fasching play and I am very impressed. Deslauirers is a throw-in who may pan out, but Fasching was the real prize.

        But Djshooks is also correct, we have a lot of good D-men in the system right now, so as good as he is and will be, McNabb was expendable. We are desperate for scoring wingers and Fasching has the makings of a good one.

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