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Los Angeles Kings’ 2011 Late-Round Draft Picks Working To Beat Long Odds

EL SEGUNDO, CA — The National Hockey League Entry Draft is one huge crapshoot in terms of teams landing prospects who will make it to the NHL level to stay, let alone big stars, even for those who are lucky enough to be first round picks.

Left wing prospect Joel Lowry spoke to the media
during the Los Angeles Kings 2011 Development Camp
at the Toyota Sports Center in El Segundo, California,
July 11-12, 2011.
Photo: Gann Matsuda

For those who end up being selected in later rounds, the odds of making it to the NHL are much, much longer. Nevertheless, every so often, they not only make it to the NHL, but they thrive there.

The most notable cases in point among Kings draft picks (not including active NHL players) would be:

  • Butch Goring, Center (fifth round, 51st overall, 1969)
  • Billy Smith, Goaltender (fifth round, 59th overall, 1970)
  • Dave Taylor, Right Wing (15th round, 210th overall, 1975)
  • Mark Hardy, Defenseman (second round, 30th overall, 1979)
  • Bernie Nicholls, Center (fourth round, 73rd overall, 1980)
  • Kevin Stevens, Left Wing (sixth round, 108th overall, 1983)
  • Luc Robitaille, Left Wing (ninth round, 171st overall, 1984)
  • Rob Blake, Defenseman (fourth round, 70th overall, 1987)
  • Alexei Zhitnik, Defenseman (fourth round, 81st overall, 1991) Read more of this post
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LA Kings GM Dean Lombardi Makes Two Big Moves On Deadline Day

Los Angeles Kings President/General Manager Dean Lombardi
spoke to the media about the Penner trade at Staples Center
in Los Angeles on February 28, 2011.
Photo: Andrew D. Bernstein/NHLI via Getty Images and the Los Angeles Kings

LOS ANGELES — Nearly forty hours have elapsed, at the time of this writing, since the National Hockey League’s 2011 trade deadline at noon Pacific time on February 28. Now that the ice chips have settled, it is a good time to take a close, calm look at the trade that brought left wing Dustin Penner to the Los Angeles Kings.

Indeed, on that day, the Kings sent defenseman prospect Colten Teubert to the Edmonton Oilers in exchange, along with a first round selection in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft, and a conditional third round pick in the 2012 draft.

That third round pick in 2012 will become a second round selection should the Kings win the Stanley Cup this season. Read more of this post

Best Players Are Starting To Come Through For The Los Angeles Kings

LOS ANGELES — After a smoking hot 12-3-0 start followed by a 2-6-0 nose dive, one thing has been a constant for the Los Angeles Kings this season…

…that they have a gaping hole on their top line at left wing, as evidenced by the fact that so many players have played that position this season with varying degrees of success…or failure. Indeed, so many players have played alongside center Anze Kopitar that one could fill an entire roster just with those players.

Forwards Justin Williams (left) and Anze Kopitar (right) have come on strong of late for the Los Angeles Kings.
Photo: David Sheehan

That is an exaggeration, of course, but you get the point. The Kings’ first line was inconsistent, at best, during the team’s hot start. In fact, the first line was supplanted by the Kings’ second line of left wing Ryan Smyth, center Jarret Stoll, and right wing Justin Williams as their top offensive line in terms of production.

During their 2-6-0 skid, the Kings’ problems started in their own end, where they were giving up Grade A scoring chances and goals in bunches. But later in the slide, the problems moved to the other end of the ice as the team stopped scoring.

The solution? Following their 2-0 loss at Anaheim on November 29, head coach Terry Murray made yet another change on his top line, moving Williams up to play the right side with Kopitar while right wing Dustin Brown shifted over to left wing.

In the two games (both wins) the Kings have played since the change, the new first line has combined for four goals and four assists for eight points. Read more of this post

LA Kings Win At Florida, Earn 3-2-0 Record On Road Trip – NHL Video

Despite suffering an embarrassing 7-0 blowout loss at Atlanta and being beaten rather soundly in a 4-1 defeat at Chicago, the Los Angeles Kings emerged from their recent five-game road trip with a 3-2-0 record after defeating the Florida Panthers, 4-3, in a shootout on November 16. Read more of this post

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