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Kings launch L.A. high school hockey league

2014 NHL Stanley Cup Final - Game Five

LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 13: Justin Williams #14 of the Los Angeles Kings celebrates with the Stanley Cup after the Kings 3-2 double overtime victory against the New York Rangers in Game Five of the 2014 Stanley Cup Final at Staples Center on June 13, 2014 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

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Pretty cool initiative out of Los Angeles -- the Kings have announced the creation of a high school hockey league, which will play its inaugural season in 2015-16.

“This is a significant step in our efforts to continue elevating the profile of our sport in and around our community,” Kings president of business operations Luc Robitaille said in a statement. “The response from the hockey community here so far has been tremendous as we slowly roll-out the program, and the high school league is the logical ‘next-step’ for us as we keep growing hockey throughout our city and our state.”

More, from the club:

District teams forming at the following ice rinks in Los Angeles, Ventura, Santa Barbara and Kern counties include: Ice In Paradise (Goleta); Channel Islands Ice Center (Oxnard); Iceoplex Simi Valley; Ice Station Valencia; San Joaquin Community Hospital Ice Center (Bakersfield); Pickwick Ice (Burbank); Pasadena Ice and Toyota Sports Center (El Segundo).

· West Ranch High School in Santa Clarita is the first High School to field a team.

· More High School teams will be announced this spring.

· The League will be run by the Kings Hockey Development Department

· Hockey players in grades 9-12 are eligible.

· The League is set to begin in September.

Current Kings broadcaster and former player Jim Fox will serve as the league’s commissioner and, per LA Kings Insider, the league will allow players to “double-roster” so they can play on both club/in-house teams, along with their respective high schools.

The Kings will also subsidize helmets, jerseys and practice jerseys free of charge.

This move follows in the footsteps of what the Anaheim Ducks launched last decade. This year, the ADHSHL increased to 41 teams across five divisions.