First Round Position: 5th
Best Picks of last 3 Years:
Drew Doughty (D) – 1st round 2008
Andrei Loktionov (RW) – 5th round 2008
Wayne Simmonds (RW) – 2nd round 2007
Oscar Moller (RW) – 2nd round 2007
Thomas Hickey (D) – 1st round 2007
Coming Down the Pipe – Having a terrible NHL record for several years and a willingness to commit to a true rebuild is beginning to show dividends for the Kings. They have had ten 1st round picks in the last 6 drafts and most are still with the organization and are expected to be impact players. L.A. is one of the deepest teams in the NHL when it comes to prospects with no obvious holes in their system. Much of their youth is already playing at the NHL level which may deceive people who forget about those youngsters who moved quickly from junior or college and straight to L.A.
Draft Trends – For the last 3 years the Kings have looked to the CHL for their earlier picks. It’s also interesting to note that L.A. has no qualms about drafting goalies; 2008 was the first year since 2002 that the club didn’t take a pipeman while three times in that same span they actually grabbed a pair of them. Last year’s selections of Vyacheslav Voynov and Andrei Loktionov was the first time since 2003 that L.A. chose a Russian (Konstantin Pushkarev).
Millard: Evander Kane - With a blueline stocked with youngsters, the Kings will be looking for the real deal up front, and Evander Kane’s power forward style will fit in perfectly with the rest of the Kings young guns.
Flaming: Evander Kane – Best Player Available. The Kings tried to trade down in 2007 and may explore that route again but if not then adding a power forward to their prospect mix makes big sense. I really think there is a good chance that L.A. includes this pick in a trade for immediate help.
Not sure I agree with you on the best draft picks of the last 3 years for LA. Jonathan Bernier doesn't make the list? I have high hopes for Loktoinov, Simmonds and Moller but I'd take Bernier anyday over them.
Agreed on drafting Kane (unless Atlanta doesn't take MSP).
If I was making a list of the 5 best long term prospects in the Kings system I would have Bernier in the mix. This list is intended more to reflect value of where they were taken as well as potential. I like Bernier, don't get me wrong, but to me:
Lokitionov in the 5th round > Bernier 11th overall
I don't think there is any argument that Simmonds and Moller SO FAR have covered the bet better than Bernier. That might change over the next 5 years but that's a different list.
Besides, the biggest problem with doing a list like mine for the Kings is that there are probably 3 more guys you could make an argument for to some degree. I think Azevedo in the 6th is a great gamble.
The Kings have drafted so well lately, there aren't a lot of 'bad choices' to make the list.
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