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LA Kings 2012 First Round Pick Tanner Pearson Just Missed Being a 7th Round Pick In 2011

FROZEN ROYALTY EXCLUSIVE: Did you know that, if not for one, critical decision back in 2011, Los Angeles Kings rookie sensation Tanner Pearson could easily still be toiling away in the minor leagues, getting limited ice time (and limited development) on the third or fourth line with the Manchester Monarchs of the American Hockey League, and that he, and the Kings, might not have won the 2014 Stanley Cup Championship because of that? Indeed, that was very nearly the case. Part 1 of a two-part series.


LA Kings left wing Tanner Pearson, shown here celebrating the team’s 2014 Stanley Cup Championship with his family on the ice at Staples Center in Los Angeles on June 13, 2014.
(click above to view larger image)
Photo: Gann Matsuda/FrozenRoyalty.net

EL SEGUNDO, CA — During the Los Angeles Kings’ remarkable 26-game run through the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs, culminating in their second Stanley Cup Championship in the last three seasons, rookie left wing Tanner Pearson seemed to come out of nowhere, scoring four goals and contributing eight assists for twelve points, while playing on a line with right wing Tyler Toffoli and center Jeff Carter to make up what became known as the “That 70’s Line.”

That line gave the Kings a whole new look up front, and, in particular, gave the Chicago Blackhawks fits during the 2014 Western Conference Final—they had no answer for them.

For his part, Pearson used speed that had not been seen from him prior to the post-season to get to loose pucks and set up his line mates time and time again. In the end, the result was becoming a Stanley Cup Champion at the age of 21, and in just his first season in the National Hockey League.

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Passed Up Twice On Draft Day, LA Kings Prospect Tanner Pearson Reaches NHL Ice Faster Than Expected

VIDEO: Includes exclusive video of the May 19 media interview with Tanner Pearson.


LA Kings left wing prospect Tanner Pearson.
(click above to view larger image)
Photo: David Sheehan/FrozenRoyalty.net

EL SEGUNDO, CA — After watching young left wing prospect Tanner Pearson make his National Hockey League debut on May 18 against the San Jose Sharks in a second round playoff game is quite the surprise. After all, it was not all that long ago that his future in hockey was rather murky, and that’s putting it mildly.

Indeed, even though he became eligible for the NHL Draft in 2010, he went undrafted for two years before the Los Angeles Kings selected him in the first round (30th overall) of the 2012 NHL Draft.

In fact, Pearson’s career in Canadian junior hockey did not have an auspicious start, as the vast majority of legitimate NHL prospects coming out of Canada go right to major junior hockey at 16 years of age. Although Pearson was selected by the Barrie Colts in the 2008 Ontario Hockey League Priority Draft, the fourth round (266th overall) selection saw the writing on the wall.

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Could LA Kings 2012 First Round Pick Tanner Pearson Be Better Than Advertised?

Left wing Tanner Pearson was the Los Angeles Kings’ first round
selection (30th overall) in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft.
(click to view larger image)
Photo: Steve Babineau/Manchester Monarchs

LOS ANGELES — For much of their very recent history, the Los Angeles Kings have had high, first round selections in the National Hockey League Entry Draft, picks they used to select players such as star defenseman Drew Doughty, who was the second overall pick in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft.

Other top-15 draft picks who are making an impact with the Kings are winger Dustin Brown, center Anze Kopitar, and backup goaltender Jonathan Bernier.

But what happens when a team wins the Stanley Cup, as the Kings did last June? They get the “privilege” of selecting last (30th overall) in the first round, a pick that many downplay, referring to it as the equivalent of a high, second round pick. Read more of this post

Los Angeles Kings Rolled The Dice On Over-Agers Tanner Pearson, Thomas Hyka In 2012 NHL Draft

Left wing Tanner Pearson was the Los Angeles Kings’ first round selection (30th overall) in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft
on June 22, 2012, at the Consol Energy Center
in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
(click to view larger image)
Photo: David Sheehan/FrozenRoyalty.net

EL SEGUNDO, CA — Every year, for those following the National Hockey League Entry Draft, all the hype and the attention goes to the top-rated young prospects, and the team with the first overall pick in that year’s draft.

This year’s draft was no different, with all the pre-draft attention focused on the top prospect in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft, right wing Nail Yakupov (Sarnia Sting, Ontario Hockey League), and the Edmonton Oilers, owners of the first pick in the draft.

As each year’s draft wears on, it becomes more and more of a crapshoot, in terms of whether or not a selected prospect will ever make it to the NHL, and this year was no exception. Indeed, after the Oilers selected Yakupov, and with the rest of the top prospects disappearing off the board right after that, the crapshoot began in earnest.

As much as every NHL team covets the first overall pick in the draft, they would Read more of this post

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