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LA Kings Have A Power Forward In The Making In Michael Mersch

AUDIO AND VIDEO: Story includes a video interview with Michael Mersch and an audio interview with Los Angeles Kings assistant general manager Rob Blake.


LA Kings left wing prospect Michael Mersch,
shown here playing for their AHL affiliate,
the Manchester Monarchs.
(click above to view larger image)
Photo: Blake Gumprecht

EL SEGUNDO, CA — For many, many years, the Los Angeles Kings were grossly deficient in the areas of drafting and developing young players. Of course, they were so bad at drafting players that their dreadful player development usually didn’t matter.

But all that has changed since President/General Manager Dean Lombardi joined the club in April 2006. He quickly made drafting and development one of the top priorities of the franchise. That focus has paid off in spades, and now, the Kings are now one of the top teams in the National Hockey League when it comes to drafting and developing their young prospects.

Evidence of that can be seen on the 2013-14 roster, which includes the likes of Drew Doughty, Trevor Lewis, Alec Martinez, Tanner Pearson, Tyler Toffoli and Slava Voynov, among others, all of whom are homegrown players—some are late-round draft picks— who are now filling significant roles, and it doesn’t stop there.

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Even Without A First Round Pick, LA Kings Are Looking For Big Things From Their 2011 Draft Class

LOS ANGELES — The 2011 National Hockey League Entry Draft, held at the Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minnesota, June 24-25, was expected to be quite uneventful for the Los Angeles Kings, who did not have a pick in the first round after they traded it to the Edmonton Oilers at the trade deadline in the deal that brought winger Dustin Penner to the Kings.


Logo courtesy: National Hockey League

Despite that, the Kings were more than optimistic about the prospects they were able to bring into the fold with their picks in rounds 2-7 on Saturday, June 25.

“We’re excited,” Kings Co-Director of Amateur Scouting Michael Futa told LAKings.com. “You always talk about that when you’re leaving the draft, about your excitement level, and the energy.”

“Today was a long day, especially for the first time for us, as a group, to go through yesterday without a pick—that was an eternity,” Futa added. “To be active [in the first round the last handful of years], and then to see things fall the way they did [this year], we were thrilled.” Read more of this post

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