EL SEGUNDO, Calif. (AP) — Matt Frattin moved to Southern California this summer with a plan.
Three weeks before the Los Angeles Kings opened training camp, he found a place close to the ocean in Hermosa Beach, but he wasn't looking for surf or sand.
After an up-and-down hockey career filled with arrests and accolades, the 25-year-old Frattin realized the opportunity in front of him with his new club, and he didn't want to waste a day of it.
"I wanted to meet the guys as they came in (for camp), instead of meeting 25 guys at once," Frattin said.
The first few days of camp have gone well for Frattin, acquired by the Kings in a summer trade with the Toronto Maple Leafs. He's skating with veterans Jeff Carter and Mike Richards as the left wing of the Kings' second line, getting every opportunity to earn a high-profile job with the two-time Western Conference finalists.
"Ever since I got traded, I've had a warm welcome from the leaders in the room," Frattin said. "They're a great group of guys, and I'm happy to be here."
Frattin announced his arrival Tuesday night with a goal and two assists in the Kings' 6-0 rout of the Anaheim Ducks. Carter had two goals and an assist of his own, including a breakaway goal set up by a deflection off Frattin's stick.
Frattin has shown a good-looking shot and above-average speed in his brief time in town, but the Kings hope he's got the heart of a grinder who could do much of the dirty work on the Carter-Richards line. Frattin knows he must improve his defensive commitment to win coach Darryl Sutter's approval.
"If he wants to play with them guys, he's got to be a real north-south, energy sort of guy," Sutter said after seeing Frattin in a game for the first time Tuesday. "We'll give him power-play time, give him some penalty-kill time. Make him work."
For all of their veteran depth, the Kings are seriously short of proven left wings this fall beyond captain Dustin Brown. Grinder Kyle Clifford and newcomer Daniel Carcillo also play the position, but Frattin's skills could make him the best option for the second-line job.