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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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Los Angeles Kings Add Six Prospects During 2012 NHL Entry Draft

DRAFT COVERAGE: Even though they had the last pick in the first round of the 2012 NHL Entry Draft, the Los Angeles Kings added six prospects to the fold this weekend. Also: news on veteran player signings, and an upcoming change to the coaching staff.


Logo Courtesy National Hockey League

LOS ANGELES — Despite having the last pick in the first round of the 2012 National Hockey League Entry Draft, the Los Angeles Kings were busier than expected this past weekend.

After winning the 2012 Stanley Cup, the Kings earned the “privilege” of selecting last in first round of the draft. In spite of that disadvantage, they managed to add six prospects to their system, and they reached agreements in principle with two of their veteran forwards who would become unrestricted free agents on July 1.

Center Jarret Stoll will sign a three-year contract extension that will pay him an average of $3.25 million per season, while center Colin Fraser will sign a two-year deal that will pay him $825,000 per season. Read more of this post

LA Kings 2011 Training Camp: Goalie Prospect Jeff Zatkoff Approaches 2011-12 Season With Renewed Focus

LA Kings goaltender prospect Jeff Zatkoff.
Photo: David Sheehan

EL SEGUNDO, CA — Outside of the years superstar and should-be-Hall-of-Fame netminder Rogie Vachon dominated while toiling between the pipes, goaltending has traditionally been the weakest link for the Los Angeles Kings.

Even goaltender Mario Lessard only had one outstanding season with the Kings in 1980-81. He even played in the 1981 National Hockey League All-Star Game that year, along with the Kings’ “Triple Crown Line,” which featured Marcel Dionne, Charlie Simmer and Dave Taylor.

Kelly Hrudey backstopped the Kings during the Gretzky Era, and helped lead the Kings to the Stanley Cup Finals in 1992-93. But that team won by outscoring its opponents, not because of its defense and goaltending. Read more of this post

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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