July 17, 2012

Kings re-sign Monarchs All-Star Hickey, three others

By Jesse Connolly

The Stanley Cup champion Kings re-signed four members of their AHL affiliate, the Manchester Monarchs, on Tuesday. 

Thomas Hickey hopes to make the jump to the NHL next year after his best season yet in Manchester. (Getty Images)

Atop the list of returning players is Thomas Hickey. The 23-year-old blueliner set a career-high with 26 points in 2011-12 and led Manchester with a plus-16 rating. Hickey skated in all 76 regular-season contests and was named to his first AHL All-Star team.

An alternate captain in Manchester for the second consecutive season, Hickey was selected fourth overall by Los Angeles in the 2007 NHL Draft. He turned pro in 2009 after captaining Team Canada to a gold medal at the 2009 World Juniors.

In 179 AHL games, the 5-foot-11 defenseman has 63 points and a plus-20 rating. The former WHL standout has yet to make his NHL debut.

Stefan Legein will also return after spending his first season in Manchester in 2011-12, during which he had 14 goals and 11 assists in 63 games. The 37th overall pick by Columbus in 2007 also tallied twice in four playoff contests for the Monarchs. Legein, 23, had his best pro season in 2009-10 with 24 goals for the AHL’s Adirondack Phantoms.

Winger David Meckler will embark on his sixth season in Manchester. A fifth-round pick by the Kings back in 2006 after his lone season at Yale, Meckler has appeared in 342 games for the Monarchs, registering 135 points. In the Monarchs all-time regular season lists, he ranks first in career games played, first in career shots on goal (812) and tied for second in career goals scored (74). 

Jake Muzzin, originally selected 141st overall by the Penguins in 2007, will enter his fourth season with the organization. He established career-highs with seven goals, 24 assists and 31 points in 2011-12. Muzzin appeared in 11 games for Los Angeles during the 2010-11 campaign. He made his NHL debut on Oct. 9, 2010 against the Canucks and picked up his first NHL point six days later with an assist in a win over Vancouver.

Jesse Connolly can be reached at jconnolly@hockeyjournal.com. Follow him on Twitter at @JesseNEHJ.