Sunday, January 9, 2011

Draft by Decade: LA Kings

The Kings draft well.  They didn't start the decade too hot taking Jens Karlsson and Dave Steckel in the first round in 2002.  Fortunately they also took Mike Camalleri that year in the second round 49th overall.  The next year Denis Grebeshkov 18th and in 2003 they landed a hattrick of talent in the first round taking Dustin Brown 13, Brian Boyle 26 and Jeff Tambellini 27, the latter two have recently found their game, unfortunately in other markets. 2004 wasn't very fruitful, they took Lauri Tukkonen 14th overall, he never played a game in the NHL, but Scott Parse was a nice find in the sixth that year.

2005 they really hit their stride, taking face of the franchise Anze Kopitar 11th overall, at the time a knock kneed kid from an obscure hockey market, and starting goalenter John Quick in the third round. 2006's two first round picks are already with the big club, Trevor Lewis and Jonathan Bernier. 2007 they could've done better than Thomas Hickey at fourth overall but he's showing signs of being a very servicable two-way NHL d-man, a pair of second rounder that year, Oscar Moller and Wayne Simmonds are becoming fixtures with the big club, and Alec Martinez, a fourth round find, is really looking good in the minors.

2008 was the benchmark pick of franchise D-man Drew Doughty, and they still took Colton Teubert 13th and promising ruskie Andrei Loktionov 125. 2009s Kyle Clifford is on the big club already and Brayden Schenn is busy setting team Canada WJC records.  2010s first rounder Derek Forbort is a solid pick.  Between 2009 and 2010 they also selected four mid round gems in Brandon Kozun, Matt Pelech, Tyler Tofoli and Max Kitsyn.

What really sums up LA's prowess at the draft table is the fact that they have Colton Teubert, Derek Forbort, Alec Martinez and Thomas Hickey waiting in the wings on the blue line. 

The Kings get a strong B+, very strong.  The core of their team, both star goalies, stud blueliners and all of their scoring depth can be attributed to their draft and development.

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