LA Kings Draft Hits, Misses and Comic “Relief”

2016 NHL DRAFT: Frozen Royalty’s coverage of the Los Angeles Kings and the 2016 National Hockey League Draft continues with a look at some of the Kings’ hits and misses in recent drafts, and one hilarious draft story.


LOS ANGELES — One look at the Los Angeles Kings’ record of drafting and developing their young prospects will show that they’ve been very, very good at it since Dean Lombardi took over as President/General Manager in April 2006.

Indeed, 18 players selected in the draft by Lombardi and his staff between 2006 and 2012 have made an impact in the National Hockey League, with ten contributing to the Kings winning the Stanley Cup in 2012 and/or 2014, and more are likely coming from subsequent drafts. Given Lombardi’s stated goal of selecting at least two players who would be able to play in the NHL in each draft, his amateur scouts and development staff have achieved a remarkable record of success.

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LA Kings Looking To Re-Discover Innovation, Creativity In Amateur Scouting, Drafting

2016 NHL DRAFT: Frozen Royalty continues its coverage of the Los Angeles Kings and the 2016 National Hockey League Draft with a look at how changes the Kings are making across their hockey operations—that re-tooling that President/General Manager Dean Lombardi talked about in early May—and how they have affected amateur scouting and the draft.


LOS ANGELES — About two weeks after the Los Angeles Kings were eliminated from the first round of the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs in just five games—they were mostly dominated by the San Jose Sharks—President/General Manager Dean Lombardi spoke to the media and talked about significant changes, both in actions and in thinking, that were in the works.

Lombardi also said that the team would not be rebuilding, but added that some re-tooling was in order and that was not restricted to the current players. He also mentioned that the first group to meet with him was his amateur scouts.

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Changing Of The Guard: LA Kings Name Anze Kopitar As New Captain

LA Kings center Anze Kopitar
(click above to view larger image)
Photo: David Sheehan/CaliShooterOne Photography

LOS ANGELES — On June 17, the Los Angeles Kings made official what had been mostly a foregone conclusion for a few weeks…that right wing Dustin Brown was captain no more.

Indeed, the Kings announced a changing of the guard, with center Anze Kopitar being named their new captain.

Kings President/General Manager Dean Lombardi told the media during a conference call that the reasons for the change were two-fold. But he stressed that the primary reason was that it’s time to expand the horizons of other players and allow them further growth.

“There’s a number of things that go into this,” said Lombardi. “Number one, being a captain, there’s no doubt that you’re not only responsible for your own game, but 23 other players. That is an enormous responsibility. That’s an enormous amount of work to be responsible for twenty people. The second part of this—you know how I feel about culture and chemistry and the things that don’t necessarily show up on a chart, or anything of that nature. My feeling on this is that, at some point, there has to be an evolution in the growth of some of your other players, the players who have come through the system. It’s essentially their turn.”

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LA Kings GM Dean Lombardi: “You Can’t Re-Create, You Have To Re-Invent”

LOMBARDI: Update on Darryl Sutter contract negotiations included.


LA Kings President/General Manager Dean
Lombardi, shown here addressing the crowd
at their 2014 Stanley Cup Championship rally at
Staples Center in Los Angeles on June 16, 2014.
(click to view larger image)
Photo: David Sheehan/CaliShooterOne Photography

LOS ANGELES — The local media requested time with Los Angeles Kings President/General Manager Dean Lombardi about two weeks ago, but after initially acknowledging the request, there was nothing but silence from the Kings communications staff until the evening of May 5, when we were told that he would be available the next morning for a media conference call.

So why the long wait? As it turns out, the Kings are in deep, philosophical thought about all aspects of the team and hockey operations.

“I haven’t been avoiding you,” Lombardi began. “So if I give you a little preamble without going into particulars, after we got over the punch in the gut, I think we had to re-evaluate everything.”

“I think the theme of the last couple weeks—it started with the amateur scouts, and I’ll make it very simple,” Lombardi continued. “I think we talked about this after we had won the first Cup, and remember, I had told you I had talked to a number of people. Despite what a lot of those people told me, they also warned me that you’re not going to understand it, probably until you go through it.”

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LA Kings Vincent Lecavalier Wants To Make The Most Of Last Chance At Second Stanley Cup Win

LA Kings center Vincent Lecavalier
Photo courtesy Los Angeles Kings

EL SEGUNDO, CA — Since he arrived in Southern California, veteran center Vincent Lecavalier has been a huge, pleasant surprise for the Los Angeles Kings.

Ending the regular season with ten goals and seven assists for 17 points, with a +1 plus/minus rating and a 51.0 percent face-off winning percentage in 42 games with the Kings, Lecavalier gave the Kings a huge upgrade to their third line center position.

Lecavalier pointed to the fact that he was traded in January, not at the trade deadline, as a factor in his play.

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