Prospect of the Week
Saturday, 11.28.2009 / 9:53 PM / Prospects
By Andrew Howard - Staff Writer
Photo Credit: John Wright
After a training camp dedicated to improving his conditioning resulted in a spot on the Manchester Monarchs roster, it would seem plausible if Geoff Walker felt a little disappointed when he was sent back to Ontario.
Last year Walker put together a solid season for the Ontario Reign, scoring 21 goals and totaling 48 points in 68 games. That performance, along with a tremendous training camp, earned Walker a spot on the Monarchs.
However, two uninspiring games later, Walker found himself reassigned to Ontario on Nov. 2. Walker could have been mad to find himself back at the same spot he was at last season. If he were, then he didn't show it.
In 10 games with the Reign, Walker scored one goal and totaled seven points, leading to his recall to Manchester on Nov. 23 and earning LAKings.com's Prospect of the Weeks honors.
"I'm real excited and I know Ontario's coach, Karl Taylor was real excited that he came back to Ontario," Los Angeles Kings Director of Player Development Nelson Emerson said. "Having been sent back to Ontario from Manchester must have been disappointing but he came to Ontario with a great attitude. He played his game and was a leader for the Reign, and he was rewarded for that by going back to Manchester."
Emerson said one thing he was impressed by with Walker in his return to the Reign was the chemistry he developed with fellow Kings prospect, Dwight King. In 19 games, King has four goals and nine points.
Since being recalled to Manchester, Walker has one goal for the Monarchs in two games.
That goal scoring mentality is what Emerson believes is Walker's best attribute.
"The thing with him is he has a nose for the net," Emerson said. "He's a terrific goal scorer. He has good size and has a knack for scoring goals."
As with any player, there are improvements which need to be made. With Walker, it's being mentally ready and prepared from shift to shift.
"He has the ability to score goals; it's just a year-long process of being ready and keeping a mindset that's ready to play at the pro level," Emerson said.
But for now Walker finds himself back in Manchester, just another step forward in his development.
"I'm happy for him because he worked as hard as anybody in the offseason with his conditioning," Emerson said.