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LAHN Exclusive: Clarke on Injury & Making NHL Roster



Brandt Clarke

When the news broke that Brandt Clarke was hurt and not traveling to Australia with the Los Angeles Kings main group, many people assumed that injury would cause him to start the season with the Ontario Reign.

However, Todd McLellan said on Thursday this wasn’t the case and made the point that Clarke staying back wouldn’t negatively impact his chances of making the team.

Friday, LAHN talked to Clarke about his injury and its impact on making the team in an exclusive interview.

Clarke on the injury:

“It’s (Clarke’s shoulder) a lot better, it’s coming along quickly and it’s on schedule,” said Clarke. “I’m still able to skate out there which is nice, yeah, everything’s on schedule. Obviously, you don’t want to be hurt ever, but this is the regular season so you can look on the bright side in that scenario.”

Clarke’s Summer:

Clarke also touched on what he worked on this summer and where he’s at physically. Specifically what he’s weighing in at, as gaining weight was a major focus for him this summer.

“I worked on all aspects of my game,” said Clarke. “I was here for development when all the LA Kings coaching staff was here and they showed me some clips of when I was here last year and when I was in juniors. Showing me some stuff I can clean up, stuff like that. Reads, stopping stuff quicker at the blue line. You always want to see growth every summer and I think I did. I think I put myself in a good spot and this (injury) is a bit of a bummer to happen right before camp. But, I don’t think it’s going to be too detrimental.”

Clarke then went on to confirm that he’s playing at 200 pounds, a target weight for him this summer.

“Yeah, that’s where I’m at right now,” said Clarke. “That’s where I’d like to be, when I get a bit older I might get heavier. I’ve always been on the lighter side for my body type, that’s pretty standard now, so I’m pretty happy with that.”

The big talking point for the team overall was the acquisition of Pierre Luc-Dubois and Clarke gave his thoughts on that trade as well.

“It’s big for the organization,” said Clarke. “You look at the three guys (who left), I was pretty good friends with them so, obviously, said to see them leave. But he (Dubois) is a great person, I’ve talked to him a lot already, great person, great player, you’ve seen what he’s done in the past. Now we have that center depth that will be so lethal down the stretch. We’re all super excited to have him, he’s just a great person, so it’s an easy acquisition for the locker room.”

Clarke’s Role & Fighting For a Roster Spot:

Going back to the injury, Clarke told us that the coaching staff talked to him before leaving for Australia about how the injury impacts his chances. Or if it does at all.

“Yeah, I talked to the coaches while they were still here,” said Clarke. “Obviously, I was upset I couldn’t go to Australia. I was trying to push myself and prove that I could be good to go this week. That’s what put me at ease, they said, ‘if you’re good to go when we get back, if you’re rolling, you’re playing well, if we think you deserve that spot then you’re going to play in that spot.’ So, that eased me, I thought, I’ll just try and be 100% when they get back and just jump back into those preseason games and practices. Just try to prove that I belong on the LA Kings. So, I’m looking forward to doing that when they get back here.”

Clarke also touched on how that right-side defense position in Los Angeles fits his playstyle and how he feels about that role.

“Yeah, that’s where I was last year, that’s probably where I’m going to be for the next decade-plus, just trying to do my thing,” said Clarke. “They usually pair a big, sturdy defenseman on the left to shut stuff down with an active puck mover on the right. That’s clearly been working for them and that might be what they do with me too. Whether they put me with someone like that or another puck mover, I think whoever I’m with will make it work. But yeah, the structure they put together, obviously, they know really well and I have the utmost faith they’ll do what’s best for the team.”


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