EL SEGUNDO, CA — As soon as he was named President/General Manager of the Los Angeles Kings a little over two years ago, Dean Lombardi made his philosophy for building a team very clear…that a team should be built from net on out.
Translation: the way to build a hockey team is to start with goaltending, then work on the defenseman corps and, finally, build up the forwards.
Lombardi inherited some good, young forwards, with Anze Kopitar, Dustin Brown, Michael Cammalleri and Alexander Frolov already on the roster, along with some developing forward prospects in their system. But outside of that, the cupboard, in terms of goaltending and defenseman prospects, was pretty much bare.
Fast forward to the summer of 2008 and oh what a difference two years makes.
In the last three drafts, Lombardi has added goaltending prospects Jeff Zatkoff and Linden Rowat, not to mention another young goaltending prospect with a boatload of potential in Jonathan Bernier. Lombardi has also added several defensemen, including Thomas Hickey and Drew Doughty, first round selections in the 2007 and 2008 NHL Entry Drafts, respectively.
To be sure, Lombardi has been following his “formula” for rebuilding and one of the defensemen prospects he is high on is Alec Martinez, who was selected by the Kings in the fourth round (95th overall) of the 2007 NHL Entry Draft. Read more of this post