LA Kings Are Targeting Goalies In 2016 NHL Draft…But That Probably Doesn’t Mean What You Think

2016 NHL DRAFT: The biggest need in the Los Angeles Kings player pipeline is in goal, with only one drafted goaltender prospect in their development system who is a long way away from the professional ranks. This story will look at the current situation and how it impacts their’ approach to the 2016 NHL Draft.


LOS ANGELES — When you look up and down at the Los Angeles Kings system, Jonathan Quick is firmly entrenched as their number one goaltender. But with Jhonas Enroth heading to unrestricted free agency, the job of backup goaltender is expected to fall to Peter Budaj, who lit up the American Hockey League this season as the best goaltender in the league with the Ontario Reign.

But behind Budaj, the only prospect the Kings have in goal is 20-year-old Alec Dillon, who they selected in the fifth round (150th overall) of the 2014 National Hockey League Draft.

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AUDIO: Frozen Royalty On Montreal Hockey Talk Radio: Pre-Game, Canadiens vs. LA Kings

On March 3, 2016, prior to the start of the Montreal Canadiens vs. Los Angeles Kings game at Staples Center in Los Angeles, I was a guest on MontrealHockeyTalk.com’s pre-game show during their Behind Enemy Lines segment, sharing what’s been happening with the Kings of late with hosts Kosta Papoulias (Coach K) and Tony Healey.

During the roughly 18-minute interview, we talked about Vincent Lecavalier, Jonathan Quick, Kris Versteeg, Rob Scuderi, Tanner Pearson, and more.

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LISTEN: Frozen Royalty On Montreal Hockey Talk Radio: Pre-Game, LA Kings vs. Canadiens

On December 17, 2015, prior to the start of the Los Angeles Kings vs. Montreal Canadiens game at the Bell Centre in Montreal, I was a guest on MontrealHockeyTalk.com’s pre-game show during their Behind Enemy Lines segment, sharing what’s been happening with the Kings of late with hosts Steven Hindle, Steve Farnham, and “Coach K.”

During the almost 17-minute interview, we talked about Anze Kopitar, Milan Lucic, Jonathan Quick, how the sport of hockey is growing in Southern California, and more.

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Yes, It’s Very Early, But What Ails The Los Angeles Kings?

Forward Trevor Lewis, shown here during practice on October 12, 2015, at the Toyota Sports Center in El Segundo, California.
(click above to view larger image)
Photo: David Sheehan/CaliShooterOne Photography

ALSO: Don’t miss the latest Sutter-ism from Los Angeles Kings head coach Darryl Sutter!


EL SEGUNDO, CA — The Los Angeles Kings are a surprising 0-2 to start the 2015-16 National Hockey League regular season, and although they were better in their second game, a 4-1 loss to the Arizona Coyotes on October 9 at Staples Center, than they were in a 5-1 loss to the San Jose Sharks during their home and season opener on October 7, the Kings are not playing very well to start the new season.

“There’s been [defensive zone] breakdowns, some forecheck bounces—[opposing teams] have scored some goals, and have taken us out of the game,” said right wing Tyler Toffoli. “It’s hard to come back when they’re scoring early goals.”

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LA Kings GM Dean Lombardi Issues Challenge To Doughty, Kopitar, Quick

LA Kings President/General Manager Dean Lombardi speaking to the media during the on-ice celebration after the Kings won the 2014 Stanley Cup Championship at Staples Center in Los Angeles on June 13, 2014.
(click above to view larger image)
Photo: Gann Matsuda/FrozenRoyalty.net

LOS ANGELES — Los Angeles Kings President/General Manager Dean Lombardi held another one of his patented, epic media conference calls on June 2, 2015, and during that call, he made it crystal-clear that he is expecting much more next season from his top three players, Drew Doughty, Anze Kopitar and Jonathan Quick.

Lombardi stressed that the challenge begins with their conditioning.

“I’m expecting these three to come back—they’ve never been at the top of our list, in terms of conditioning, and I think that’s going to be the first step for these guys, [for them] to say, ‘OK, it’s my turn,’” said Lombardi. “I think our top players have a chance now to become our best conditioned players. I think any great team—and you can look at the [Nicklas] Lidstroms, the [Steve] Yzermans, the [Tom] Bradys, all those teams, Kobe Bryant—the top players set the mark. It’s not the coach or anybody that gets in their ear. They show up in the top condition, ready to go for a full 82 games.”

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