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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

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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

Showing Signs Of Progress: LA Kings Blue Line Prospects Nicolas Deslauriers, Derek Forbort, And Kevin Gravel

EL SEGUNDO, CA — All it takes is a quick glance at the roster to see that the Los Angeles Kings are set with their top six defensemen, with Drew Doughty, assuming the Kings can get him to sign a contract soon, leading their blue line corps.

Defenseman prospect Derek Forbort 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

The Kings are also developing several young prospects for their blue line, including Jake Muzzin, Thomas Hickey, Viatcheslav Voynov, Andrew Campbell, David Kolomatis, and Patrick Mullen—all played for the Manchester Monarchs of the American Hockey League, the Kings’ primary minor league affiliate, last season.

But if you think the pipeline ends there, sorry, guess again.

Indeed, even more prospects are working their way up the ladder, trying to achieve the dream of someday playing in the National Hockey League, and three of them, Kevin Gravel, Derek Forbort and Nicolas Deslauriers, participated in the Kings 2011 Development Camp in mid-July at the Toyota Sports Center in El Segundo, California, the Kings’ practice facility. Read more of this post

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