First of all, a big thanks to all of you. I found out the other day that this blog, out of all the Daily News sports blogs, ranked second in hits in May, behind only Scott Wolf’s USC juggernaut. That’s ahead of the Lakers, Dodgers and Angels, all of whom were actually PLAYING GAMES in May. So thanks to everyone for their continued interest.
Obviously things are a little slow right now, but with the draft coming up, one week from tonight for the first round, I thought it would be the right time to start throwing some stuff out there. I’ve gotten a few e-mails, inquiring about who I think the Kings might pick, and I think it could go in a couple different directions.
Assuming that the first three picks go as planned — Patrick Kane, Kyle Turris and James VanRiemsdyk, in some order or another — the Kings can go in a couple different directions. If the Kings are thinking defense, Karl Alzner is the probable pick. If they’re thinking winger, Alexei Cherepanov, Sam Gagner and Jakub Voracek will all probably be there. What to do? Cherepanov is probably the best raw talent, but the Russian transfer issue is a problem (although hopefully it won’t be when it comes time for him to sign).
For what it’s worth, the mock drafts out there that I’ve seen have the Kings taking either Cherepanov or Voracek. Cherepanov is the top-rated European skater in the draft, while Alzner, Gagner and Voracek rank fifth, sixth and seventh among North American skaters. Just going on instinct, I would say it will be Alzner. Why? Only because Lombardi seemed more concerned about his depth on defense than on the wings.
At some point this week, I’ll do my best to get some member of the front office on the phone. Until then, here’s some stuff:
NHL.com did this article on Alzner and it also includes a nice bio of him.
Want to judge for yourself? NHL.com has helpful video scouting reports so you can get acquainted with all the top prospects.
FInally, Shane Malloy did some painstaking work on a mock draft. In one week, we’ll all get to see how close he came!