LAKings.com's Prospect of the Week

Wednesday, 01.13.2010 / 8:10 PM / Prospects
By Andrew Howard  - Staff Writer
M
Marc-Andre Cliche
arc-Andre Cliche's coaches throughout his hockey career also told him that if he was solid on the defensive end, then opportunities on offense would come.

Taking that advice to heart, the 22-year old center from Rouyn-Noranda, Quebec, focused on the defensive aspect of the game, earning the reputation as a hard-nosed player.

Yet the offensive part of the equation had yet to materialize. Last season with the Manchester Monarchs, Cliche scored five goals and notched four assists in 31 games. In his first season with Manchester in 2007-08, Cliche had 11 goals and 10 assists in 52 games.

However, if the first half of this season is any indication, the offense for Cliche is starting to come around.

Cliche scored three goals this past week and is this week's LAKings.coms Prospect of the Week.

The three goals, including both of Manchester's goals in a 2-1 win over the Springfield Falcons on Jan. 6, gave Cliche 10 on the season, tied for the second most on the team.

"I just focused on the little details that the coaches have been telling us," said Cliche of the past week's success. "I've been working hard all year."

Los Angeles Kings Director of Player Development Nelson Emerson said that the offensive success Cliche has enjoyed so far this season is tremendous for his confidence and has been critical for a depleted Monarchs team.

"Getting scoring from him is the reason why the team has been successful," Emerson said.

The Monarchs currently sits in first place in the Atlantic Division with 55 points and a record of 25-11-4, yet has had to overcome a rash of injuries and call-ups to the Kings. Yet Cliche has stepped up and embraced the opportunity.

"He's a player that's taking advantage of a situation, and I give him credit," Emerson said.

Cliche said that one reason the Monarchs have been able to stay the course and overcome the loss of players due to everybody buying into the system and culture created by the coaches.

Emerson described Cliche, who was acquired by the Kings in 2007 along with Jason Ward and Jan Marek in a trade with the New York Rangers for Sean Avery and John Seymour, a no-nonsense player who doesn't cut corners.

Cliche understands his role as a defensive presence for the Monarchs, yet states that he has had to expand his role. If there is one area in particular in which Cliche said he could improve in it would be his poise offensively. Yet with a week like last week, Cliche said there is no better time for improvement.

"My confidence is really high this week and its a great time to work on that."