Stanley Cup 2012: AHL Farm System Paying off for Los Angeles Kings

Thanks to the 2012 NHL playoffs, America has learned names of Los Angeles Kings players like Jordan Nolan, Dustin Brown and Jonathan Quick, but hockey fans in Manchester, NH aren't surprised to see these stars shine.

The small city located in the Granite State is home to the Kings' American Hockey League affiliate, the Manchester Monarchs, where the aforementioned playoff heroes fine-tuned their skills before making it to the big time.

Before Brown lead the 2012 playoffs in goals, he scored 29 goals and 45 assists for the Monarchs en route to a 2004-05 AHL All-Star selection.

Before stone-walling opposing offenses in the net, Quick shutting out his competition in Manchester from 2007 to '09.

The Kings are a squad who aren't built around one superstar like Alex Ovechkin or Sidney Crosby. Rather, they are built on the "team-first" approach and a rich farm system that has paid huge dividends this season.

Nolan, who scored the first goal of the 2012 Stanley Cup Finals, caught up with the Monarchs' official website to talk about his time with the minor league team:

"I think when I was in Manchester, I felt pretty good about myself. I was clicking a bit and getting some points and then I got called up and got tossed into a little bit of a different role which has worked out great."

From little old Manchester, NH to the bright lights of Los Angeles, it's been quite the season for the 2009 seventh-round draft pick.

Farm systems aren't discussed in a huge capacity, but they are the building block for pro teams like the Kings, Tampa Bay Rays and Washington Nationals, who have all seen recent success due to young prospects becoming young stars.

Too often teams like the Miami Heat and New York Yankees get all the media attention for big-name free-agent acquisitions. The Kings are showing the pro sports world what can be done when you simply take the time to develop your own tal...

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