The Manchester Monarchs (NHL Los Angeles Kings Affiliate) were the best team in the American Hockey League’s Eastern Conference last season, and a big reason why was the outstanding play of Center Jordan Weal. The Monarchs had an impressive 48-19-3 record last season, while earning the franchise it’s third 100+ point season in their 13 years in the AHL.
Center Jordan Weal is currently playing in his last year of his three-year entry-level contract, and hopes to have another big year for the Monarchs. Weal was a third round draft pick of the Los Angeles Kings back in 2010 (70th overall). Jordan played his junior hockey for the Regina Pats of the Western Hockey League, and his stats showed he was ready to be drafted by an NHL team.
Playing in 282 games for Regina, Weal posted 135 goals, and 250 assists. In the four seasons (2008-2012) in the WHL, Weal contributed with two 40+ goal seasons, and had a very impressive four seasons with 50+ assists. For his outstanding play in the WHL, he was selected to be a first team all-star in 2011-2012.
On April 18, 2011 The LA Kings signed him to a three-year entry-level contract, sending him to play in the AHL with Manchester. In 148 games with the Monarchs, Weal contributed 38 goals, and 66 assists. Last season was Jordan’s best year in the AHL, ranking fifth in the league with 23 goals, and 47 assists.
The 5’-10”, 179 pound native of North Vancouver British Columbia, almost seems ready for the next step to the NHL, but with his small frame, and so much depth at the center position on the Kings roster, he may have to wait for an injury to make his NHL debut.
Weal is a right-handed shot, who uses his great speed on the forecheck to create turnovers. He has exceptional hands, vision, and a master of cycling the puck to create operative offensive chances. Jordan is also very good in the neutral zone for that defensive stretch pass, and uses his speed to either skate the puck in himself, or cross the blue line and wait for trailing players.
The Kings would be very smart to retain Weal for another year or two, because after this NHL season there are several players that need to be resigned, but if terms cannot be met, Weal would be a great fit at a low salary cap price. The downfall of the depth on the Kings this season, and if the Kings do not want to resign Weal, may have the player requesting a trade.
Last season the Kings lost two good prospects in forward Brandon Kozun, who was traded on January 22, 2014 to the Toronto Maple Leafs, and forward Linden Vey who was traded to the Vancouver Canucks during the 2014 NHL Entry Draft for a second round pick. Both Kozun and Vey requested trades from the Kings organization to seek NHL playing time elsewhere. Both players have debuted this season for their respective NHL teams.
Appearing in one game in this young Monarchs season, Weal contributed 2 assists in a 4-1 win over the Wilkes-Barre Scranton Penguins on Sunday October 12th. The Monarchs are back in action with back to back games this Friday night and Saturday night against the Norfolk Admirals.