📝 Patrick Williams
Every member of Ontario’s ruling roster aims to make it to the National Hockey League. This is the mission.
So it makes sense to surround these NHL prospects with ample NHL instruction, as the parent Los Angeles Kings saw it. First, Reign trains full-time at the Toyota Sports Performance Center in El Segundo, Calif., the same NHL facility the Kings call home. They skate there, they train there, and they’re completely immersed in the NHL environment.
With one of the top prospect bases in all of hockey, Los Angeles also places a strong emphasis on giving prospects personalized one-on-one instructional time. As a result, the Kings established a small developmental coaching camp with a strong focus on NHL expertise. Jarret Stoll Played 872 regular-season NHL games as an all-around forward. Sean O’Donnell A tough defender, he built a lengthy NHL career and completed 1,224 NHL regular-season games to his name. Another retired NHL blueliner, Matt Green, played 615 regular-season games at the NHL level. Green and Stoll each won two Stanley Cups with Los Angeles, and O’Donnell won the Stanley Cup with Anaheim.Another development coach, former Kings forward Mike Donnelly, played 465 games during the NHL regular season. Add up the experience of the four and they’ve played in 3,177 NHL regular-season games.
Additionally, all four development coaches have spent time in the AHL as potential clients. They went through the ups and downs of the developmental process that today’s Ontario players go through before continuing those long NHL careers.
But through family ties, Ontario striker Taylor Madden Even before he joined the Los Angeles organization and traded with the Vancouver Canucks on February 17, 2020, he was already gaining some insight into the NHL’s elite.
Madden’s father. John Madden, a former elite two-way forward who built an NHL career that any AHL player would envy.
Old Madden is on the path his son is now planning. After a stellar four-year career at Michigan, he spent two seasons with the AHL’s Albany River Rat as a free agent with the New Jersey Devils. The Devils-River Rats league produced a crop of NHL talent that allowed New Jersey to win three Stanley Cups from 1995 to 2003. Along the way, Madden played in 898 NHL regular-season games, earning the Selke Trophy in 2001 as the NHL’s top defensive lineman. Additionally, Madden, now an assistant coach of the San Jose Sharks, knows the AHL from a bench perspective and coached the Cleveland Monsters for three seasons between 2016 and 2019.
As for Taylor, at least so far, he’s taking a somewhat similar route to his father’s.
After Vancouver selected him as a third-round pick in 2018, he spent two seasons at Northeastern University, where he was part of the Hockey East rookie team and made an All-Star with the Huskies in 2018-19 Team Honorable Mention Conference Champion. In the same season, he won a silver medal at the World Junior Championships with Team USA. A year later, he earned a spot on the Hockey East’s first All-Star team before turning pro in Ontario for the 2020-21 season.
Last season, Reign had 11 rookies as regulars, including Madden, and that inexperience showed early. Dealing with injuries, Madden had five points and only one goal in 14 games. But Ontario and Madden made steady progress throughout the season, and Dominion ended up being a dangerous end-of-season rival.
Those young turnovers last season would have given the Dominion a 9-0-0-1 start this season. Some starts have been sluggish since then, but the 16-6-2-1 Ontario still holds second place in the Pacific Division heading into today’s matinee with the No. 1 Stockton Heat.
With the recall Martin Falk and Alex Turcott For the Kings, Ontario will rely more on Madden, who has 13 points (8 goals, 5 assists) in 23 appearances this season.The organization rated Madden high enough to align him with a first-round pick Quinton Byfield and Gabriel Villady, Madden contributed an assist in Saturday night’s 5-4 win over the San Diego Seagulls at Toyota Arena.
On that ball, Madden broke free on the left lap, got a cross-ice pass from Byfield, and shot in the net, which Verradi then managed to squeeze past the San Diego goalkeeper. Francis MallotWith victories over the Seagulls and Bakersfield Condors in eight of nine home games, it’s time for Ontario to accumulate points. At the end of this month, Real Madrid will play 12 of 14 away games.
For Madden, his father played 15 professional seasons, 12 of them in the NHL, and it’s an excellent resource for his use in hockey.
“It’s back to…consistency,” Madden said. “It’s a big thing he talks about a lot. That’s how you’re going to be successful [the AHL] and take it to the next level.
“But other than that, it’s holding on. He said the players sometimes play … good games, but they can play games. [yet] They were not rewarded. So always don’t disappoint yourself, once the game is over, you move on to the next game. “
Since coming to Southern California, Tyler Madden is now exposed to more NHL names on a daily basis as he grapples with the minutiae of the game and eventually competes with the Kings for a job.
“I stayed in Los Angeles this summer to train and work with the development team here,” Madden said. “They are always able, especially in the summer, to help me a lot in the game and show me where I can do better.
“Then during the season, they show up on the ice with us, and if they see something – maybe my wall isn’t playing well, or they see something that I can do better, or a little bit Tips, or tricks for me – they’ll let me know. It really helped me a lot.
“Obviously from those guys who knew exactly what they were talking about.”
Patrick Williams has played in the NHL for nearly 20 years for media including NHL.com, Sportsnet, TSN, The Hockey News, SiriusXM NHL Network Radio, and SLAM! sporty.He is currently the co-host of the show Around A Podcast.
Patrick received the AHL’s James H. Ellery Memorial Award for his outstanding coverage of the league in 2016.