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Brian Boyle, one of two 2003 LA Kings’ first-round draft picks (26th overall) is one of only two 2003 first-rounders (the other is Hugh Jessiman) to not have played a game at the NHL level. Boyle, a high scoring center who played for a stacked Boston College team, is being considered as a defenseman at Kings’ camp. The leading scorer for the 2006-2007 version of the Eagles, Boyle was moved to defense by Coach Jerry York for a playoff series when the injury bug bit the BC blue-line.

Despite not having much experience playing the point, Boyle made immediate contributions and began drawing comparisons to another King, Rob Blake. The 6’7 Boyle concluded his final season at BC and joined the Manchester Monarchs for their playoff run, contributing 8 points in 16 games. A Keith Primeau type player, Boyle needs to learn to use his monstrous size and wingspan to physically dominate his opponents.

Boyle’s upside stems from the fact that if he cannot translate his considerable size and skill into more than a 3rd line grinder spot, he can still become a top pairing defenseman. Though he may push for a roster spot this year, the April 2007 signee is likely headed back to Manchester to hone his pro game. Perhaps Boyle will be the reverse of Wendel Clark, a highly touted junior defenseman who became a power forward. Only time will tell us which position Boyle will play at the NHL level.

A video interview with Brian Boyle can be found here.

News You Can Use in the Late Morning:

-Robert Esche still looking for work. This might take a while, its a tough market for goalies this year.

-The Southeast Division is getting no respect for the upcoming season.

-Austria becoming a destination of choice for hockey players. I can’t say I blame them, check out some of the Austrian talent on Facebook.

Cam Cunning competes for roster spot at Flames camp.

-Interesting article on ice-making.

Kris Letang ready to make the jump to the NHL permanently. He should fit in nicely with what Pittsburgh has cooking.

Tie and Belinda call it quits. How will the CBC blame this on Bush and Harper. Global warming?

Gayest hockey movie ever. With apologies to Youngblood.

-Ray Bourque’s son Ryan Bourque commits to University of New Hampshire.

-Atlanta’s Enstrom having difficulty adjusting to the speed of the NHL. At 5’9, he had better get used to it quick.

Thrashers sign Riley Holzapfel of the Moose Jaw Warriors. The Thrashers need to re-stock the cupboard after a disastrous deadline day last year.

Funny Ivanans vs. Parros comparison at Battle of California.

For Illegal Curve, I’m Kyle Kosior.