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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

LA Kings Forward Brad Richardson Hopes To Lose Utility Man Label Someday

LOS ANGELES — With the Los Angeles Kings back home from a five-game road trip in which they earned a solid 3-2-0 record, they now find themselves in a rather lofty position, atop the Western Conference standings and second in the overall National Hockey League standings (through games played on October 29).

As one might expect, players such as Dustin Brown, Anze Kopitar, Justin Williams, Ryan Smyth, Jarret Stoll and Jonathan Quick have played key roles in the team’s strong 7-3-0 start through ten games. But role players are making solid contributions as well, including versatile forward Brad Richardson, whose strong play has earned him a promotion to the Kings’ top line, skating alongside Brown and Kopitar.

But at the start of that five-game road swing, beginning with a 4-2 loss at Phoenix on October 21, Richardson found himself in his usual spot on the fourth line.

Little did he know that big changes were in store for him, and they came rather unexpectedly early in the second period at Colorado on October 23.

In that game, Richardson, 24, started the game on the fourth line, but Kings head coach Terry Murray, as he is wont to do, decided to tinker with his line combinations, moving Richardson up to play left wing on the first line, while moving rookie forward Andrei Loktionov down to center the fourth line. Read more of this post

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LA Kings Sign Defenseman Prospect David Kolomatis

David Kolomatis
Photo: Manchester Monarchs

EL SEGUNDO, CA — On September 3, the Los Angeles Kings signed defenseman prospect David Kolomatis, 21, to a three-year entry level contract.

The 5-11, 189-pound native of Livingston, New Jersey played in 76 regular season games with the Manchester Monarchs of the American Hockey League (Kings’ primary minor league affiliate) last season, scoring eight goals and adding 21 assists for 29 points, tying him for second among Monarchs defensemen in points. He was also tied for second among club defensemen in goals and assists, while ranking seventh in the AHL in points for rookie defensemen.

Kolomatis topped Monarchs defensemen last season with five power play goals. Read more of this post

Confidence And Maturity Has LA Kings’ Wayne Simmonds Shining Bright

LOS ANGELES — Two years ago, Wayne Simmonds was toiling away in the Ontario Hockey League for the Owen Sound Attack and the Sault Ste. Marie (Soo) Greyhounds. But his play had already caught the eye of the Los Angeles Kings, who had selected him in the second round (61st overall) of the 2007 National Hockey League Entry Draft. Read more of this post

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