2016 NHL DRAFT – Los Angeles Kings Director of Amateur Scouting Mark Yanetti spoke exclusively with Frozen Royalty late Friday night about the Kings plans for today’s rounds 2-7 of the 2016 NHL Draft.
LOS ANGELES — The National Hockey League held the first round of its annual amateur draft on June 24 at the First Niagara Center in Buffalo, New York. But a few teams, including the Los Angeles Kings, did not have a first round pick and were forced to sit and watch the cream of the crop of the 2016 NHL Draft parade pass them by.
The Kings don’t pick until the 51st overall selection in the second round and never had an opportunity to move into the first round.
“We played some [scenarios] out awhile ago,” said Mark Yanetti, the Kings Director of Amateur Scouting. “If you want to talk about the analytic component of moving up and down [in the draft], there’s no way to get from 51 to 30 [the final pick in the first round] without doing something that doesn’t make sense.”
“There was never a scenario or situation that we could’ve done—anything—to get to 30 that didn’t involve loss of sanity,” added Yanetti. “We’re talking about actual loss of our [mental] faculties. You saw the toll it took to move up four spots—you had to take on $7.5 million in [annual] salary [when the Arizona Coyotes acquired the contract of KHL-bound forward Pavel Datsyuk in order to move up in the first round]. That’s an astronomical price to move that distance. That’s high price to move four or five spots. Try moving [21 spots].”
In fact, it was weeks ago when the Kings came to that realization.
“It was so long ago when we talked about first round scenarios that I can’t remember them,” said Yanetti. “That’s how long ago it was. We did our due diligence. Nothing played out. The numbers didn’t support it. There was no scenario that would’ve got us into the first round, so that discussion ended awhile ago and was never re-visited.”
Instead, the Kings have been focused on today’s rounds 2-7 (7:00 AM PDT in Buffalo, New York) for a long time.
“We watched the draft unfold and we have a lot of things in place for [Saturday], whether it’s moving up or moving down in every round—every possible scenario,” Yanetti noted. “There are scenarios for moving up and there are scenarios for moving back. I would say there are more scenarios for moving back than up.”
“There are so many situations,” Yanetti added. “It seems simplistic but they’re almost formulaic, at times, because if there’s a player you want, like Tyler Toffoli, you move up two spots and take him. But it’s so fluid.”
“We now know 30 players we’re not getting, so you can be more focused on who might be there at 51 and if we decide to move back, we’ll know when a team doesn’t have a second round pick. If we try to move up, we’ll know who has multiple second round picks, so today was more about preparing for tomorrow.”
Yanetti is hopeful that the going rate for trades will be a favorable one.
“I think the market was set a little high in the first round,” he said. “We’ll see if that continues, in terms of movement. Obviously, if we’re moving back, we’d like the [price] to stay high. But if we’re moving up, we’d like [Saturday] to be a completely different day and not follow any trends from the first day.”
Should the Kings decide to keep their second round pick, they already know whom they will select, whatever the circumstances might be.
“There are guys who we’ve targeted for 51,” said Yanetti. “It’s an inexact science. It’s a calculation and you can’t take the uncertainty out of it because you don’t know what other teams are thinking.”
“We have an idea of which players will be there at 51,” added Yanetti. “Now we have a little bit better idea, but it’ll really start to unfold when we get to 35-40. Then we’ll start to know what we should probably be doing.”
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