Initial comments from Lombardi

The quality of the audio was terrible, so here’s Dean’s first comments on Hickey.

“He does things that are very hard to find. Not only is he a good skater straight ahead, he’s an east-west skater and he can get up the rink in a hurry. In today’s games, the guys who can make plays and get it out of your own end, that’s critical.”

“We think that with Hickey and Jack Johnson, we have two players who have the potential to be top-four players, similar to when we got Stuart and Hannan (in San Jose).”

“He had started moving up on the boards, and it was becoming clear that in that 8-11 spot, there were teams that were strongly considering him. I had two or three deals that would allow us to move down and get another pick, but I didn’t want to move too far backward.”

“He started out slow and in January he started taking off again. He averaged a point per game then started to get better.”

“You can’t do what everybody thinks. You have to put your work in and do what you think is best. We’ve got a good group of young forwards. You add Jack Johnson and a kid like this, at a critical position. I’m pretty excited about this.”

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  • Landon Thomas

    Initially I was shocked but who wasn’t? Now that it has sunk in and looking at what Hickey brings to the Kings future, I am excited too. I understand DL’s philosophy and how he didn’t want to drop too far down. Let’s give DL the benefit of the doubt, he and his scouting team all know more than we do and this could be a huge pick. (Would of been nice to see if Cherepanov in a King uniform.)

  • Dave Taylor

    What I don’t get is that DL has said all along, you take the BEST PLAYER AVAILABLE. Was this the guy that was the best available at #4?? I guess DL seems to know something that others don’t…

  • Fat Elvis

    Hopefully next year DL will have his scouting staff put together with a tighter fit so that this huge mistake doesn’t happen. You have the 4th overall pick and use it to select a late first rounder? They better lower beer prices drastically.

  • Anonymous

    Hilarious!

  • Danny

    No, sorry, but in my mind, this cannot be a good pick. Hickey was NOT the best player available at #4. This pick was a poor decision by DL.

  • Scott

    I am just dumbfounded by this pick. I haven’t seen the guy play a whole game, but I just don’t see how you use a #4 pick on a kid like this. Whatever they saw, his stats don’t bear it out. I am rapidly losing confidence in Dean Lombardi. In fact, I am pretty pissed!

  • Brian

    Apparently Pierre McGuire said this pick was “not a mistake…Hickey is going to be a big time player.” Not sure I like it, but I’ll give DL some time before I flog him for this one.

  • toboggan

    Hickey – best player available? HELL NO! I don’t like this selection one bit

  • Mike

    I agree that this move totally contradicts what Lombardi has said about picking the best player available. This further erodes what little confidence I have left in Lombardi and his staff. For goodness sake, I thought they were picking one of the My Name is Earl guys when they called out Hickey’s name

  • Landon

    This years draft is not the make-all, end-all of the Kings. Let’s remember we still have a couple years of development to go. Obviously DL has a vision and for those who want a Stanley Cup or a division title, we all need to be patient. Thanks Rich for all the updates. It means a lot to us Die-Hards.

  • LB

    Does anybody remember when the Kings had the 3rd overall pick and took the best player available on everyone’s list and of course everyone agreed that it was the correct pick? That was Aki Berg.
    Let’s hope it pays off to go against the flow this time. While I do think they could’ve should’ve made a trade and taken Hickey with a lower pick, I’d rather take a chance with a guy like him who can turn into Visnovsky than a guy like Alzner who can turn into Aaron Miller. These high skill defensemen are much more rare in the NHL, than the reliable Miller types.

  • BB

    So the Hickey is projected to be better than Alzner or Ellerby, WTF?!! that was a wasted pick! I miss Dave Taylor!

  • Ex-Sportswriter

    You need to draft an instant impact player with the 4th Overall pick in the draft. This guy is not that. We should have dealt the pick and taken this kind of guy in Round 2.

    Anybody agree with this?

  • Aaron

    Bob McKenzie mentioned that he knew of at least one other team that had Hickey in the top five, so the Kings were not the only ones that think this kid is a big time prospect.

    It is surprising because all of the other publications had Alzner as the top defenseman available.

    This draft was supposed to be unpredictable and it certainly was so far.

  • Scott

    The guy may pan out, but you don’t use a #4 pick on him. Same as Blake Wheeler — you trade down if you really want a guy who no one else thinks is that good. I know he said he tried and failed, but I just don’t get this at all. He did not put up numbers like a guy with that kind of upside — it’s a crazy reach.

  • Nick

    No, because the only real impact player left, imo, was Cherepanov and too many teams were scared off by the lack of a transfer agreement and supposed character issues. This was not a top-heavy draft. I do think we ended up with a NHLer after reading up about him and watching some video, but it’s a ways off.

    Still, people are acting like the sky is falling because we took a guy too early (maybe, only time will tell if the pick sucked). It’s not like this makes us any worse next year or even the year after that. if the pick flops, oh well. The draft is a crapshoot anyways, so how about we wait until we actually get a crappy return before we’re asking for Lombardi’s head.

  • Ed

    I remember reading somewhere that this year’s draft is thin. After the clear top 3 players, there is a pool of 20 some players that are all a toss up.

    With that in mind, after we “lost” in the lottery, this pick is OK.

  • Anonymous

    I’m sure they aren’t making a mistake given the increased exposure to him with the time spent scouting holloway and following up on him.