Daryl's Development: Kevin Gravel
The second installment covers a big stay-at-home d-man from St. Cloud State
Right Now: Kevin currently plays for St. Cloud State in the NCAA. He is in his second year and has four assists in 18 games with an even plus-minus rating. Kevin is one of 30 players invited to the World Junior Championships for players “under 20.” He will be competing for one of 22 roster spots for Team USA
The Back Story: Kevin is a left shooting defenseman who was drafted by the Kings in the 5th round (148th overall) of the 2010 NHL Entry Draft. Kevin is from Kingsford, Michigan, and last year in his first year at St. Cloud State University he scored one goal and added five assists for six points in 36 games.
What I Know About Kevin: Kevin is a big body. He is a stay at home defenseman who understands his role and plays within his means. For a big body he moves well and simplifies the game with good positioning and high percentage plays. For Kevin, filling out his frame with muscle mass while maintaining his speed and agility will help him become a pro.
What The Kings Say About Kevin: Tony Gasparini is a Kings Amateur Scout who has watched Kevin play on numerous occasions this year. He says: “Kevin has been real solid. He plays a simple game and keeps himself between his goal and the opposing player. He always finds himself in the right spot,” Tony says. “He is only 19 years old and he will fill out. He is 6-4 and needs to and will add weight and strength to play heavier and contain players down low.” Tony added: “Kevin has taken a big step forward from a year ago. He is efficient with and without the puck. He has also been very assertive with his physical play and decisions. He is a long player with great range and has a simplistic approach to the game with very few mistakes.”
Going Forward: Kevin needs to put a lot of emphasis on the off ice part of becoming a pro. Filling into his body by adding muscle mass without sacrificing speed and agility will be very beneficial to him.
Kings radio color commentator / former left wing Daryl Evans – who since 2007 has also served as a power skating consultant for the Kings’ development team -- breaks down some of the club’s best prospects for LAKings.com.