Futa/Yannetti interview III

In this third installment of the interview, Futa and Yannetti talk about preparing for all the different scenarios they might face on draft day, plus they discuss how there is a consensus, among the staff, about which player to select with the No. 2 pick…


Question: When you walk into the arena on draft day, what will you be working with? How extensive will your player lists be? How much of it is based on preparation and how much of it is adjusting on the fly to things that might happen that day?

Yannetti: “Without giving anything away, you’d be surprised at the level of detail, if you saw the whole list.”

Futa: “It’s almost like playing cards. We’ll have the list done, and the boss will challenge us. I’ve heard his speech on (the Kings’ website) where he talks about what our goals are: to get character down, to get the list right. The last one is our scenarios. Even with no names involved, he will say, `Would you trade two `C’s for an `A’?’ When you have 15 picks and you have a general manager who, one of his strongest traits is his ability to move up and down to get what he wants, those are the kind of scenarios that are going to come up. If there’s a guy we believe in, and we’re sitting there at the end of the second round or the start of the third round and he’s the guy we want, who we think is the right fit, because of all the picks that Dean has accumulated, he’s got the ability to move. It’s not just that we’re going there to make 15 picks. He’s got the ability to go up and down the ladder.”

Yannetti: “We’ve got the ammunition. And to put it in perspective, the last 30 names on our list… We’ve spent two solid days, from 8 in the morning until late at night, that have been devoted to them. So if you want to think about what goes into the last people on the list, you can start to get a sense of what goes into the middle and then the top. It’s pretty involved. If we all agree on where a guy should go (on the list), there’s no question. But if there’s a question, we break it down and do it again.”

Futa: “There won’t ever be a scenario posed to us at the draft that hasn’t been discussed. We’ll have all the dress rehearsals. All those equations, these card games, that’s all stuff that will be done ahead of time. We’ve already started. It’s not like we’re going to get to Ottawa and then figure it out.”

Yannetti: “There’s no winging it in Ottawa. Everything that will be done with these 15 picks will have been well thought out and planned for ahead of time. Nothing goes according to plan, but having all the information and all the scenarios, you’re not caught by any unforeseen circumstances. Hopefully everything goes according to plan, but if it doesn’t, we’re ready.”

Futa: “It was the weirdest thing for me last year, with my first NHL draft, on the board. It was almost like, put that suit in the closet and it’s there waiting for that day. It’s almost like putting on your game jersey. That’s your Super Bowl, and you have to be ready. You have all your ducks in a row.”

Yannetti: “It’s different for me too. Most of the time when I was at the table, it was, `Is a trade going to happen?’ Because I was (scouting) pros when I was in Toronto, for the most part.”


Question: I know you guys are deep into the lower-round guys right now, but how about the No. 2 pick? Has there been a lot of debate about what to do with it?

Yannetti: “I think there’s been healthy debate that has led to a real, consistent agreement.”

Futa: “As much as people call it the `Stamkos sweepstakes’… It’s easy to say that, but it’s a deep draft. The depth of the high-end players, that core group is exceptional. The thing about defensemen, in particular, is that it’s almost like going into a Baskin-Robbins. They’re all different. They’re all unique.”

Yannetti: “They’re all good.”

Futa: “Yeah, and it’s a matter of finding the one that fits and the one that has the most potential. They’re just so different, in terms of what they bring to the table. It’s quite a process, and the level of what we’re doing here (with lower-round players) is certainly going on at that level too.”

Yannetti: “Obviously, you want the first pick, so you can dictate who you get. At the same time, having the second pick of this draft is a pretty enviable position.”

Futa: “I mean, watching that draft lottery… I know Steve Stamkos, and I’ve had him in programs, but it wasn’t a matter of being upset about losing Stamkos. When you struggle during a season, you want to have the full deck of cards in front of you. You want to have that choice.”

Yannetti: “Whether or not you decide to take him, you want to be able to make that decision.”

Futa: “When you struggle for a year like that, you should have all the cards in front of you. That being said, that was the only kind of disappointment. Because we realized that after him — if that’s who Tampa decides to take — there’s a tremendous core of players right there for us to make our decision on.”


Question: As we sit here now, do you guys have a pretty firm idea of what you want to do with that second pick?

Yannetti: “Yeah.”

Futa: “Yeah. What would you say, there’s a core of two or three, two in particular…”

Yannetti: “Yeah. We talked about `complete information.’ Barring complete information changing, we have a very good idea.”

Futa: “A very good idea. And that’s why we talk about knowing these kids. When we head to Toronto (for the draft combine), we’re obviously going to be spending lots of time with different scenarios.”

Yannetti: “With different scenarios and different people.”

Futa: “As Mark just said, it would take something coming out of a closet, that we never saw coming, to change things.”

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  • anthony

    Can we trade these two scouts along with Lord Cammi our 2nd overall pick for Stamkos.

  • aj

    amazing interviews, amazing people. Even when you disagree with a person like Lombardi and his Cloutier moves, it’s hard not to follow a leader who puts everything onto the table. Despite being a pessimist, it’s easy to see scouts are sound, manager is sound, franchise foundation is solidifying. With a little luck and patience, maybe we’ll get through this after all.

    Futa and yannati, thanks for all your work, more appreciated then you’ll ever know or hear from anyone.

  • 28 KINGS

    “Can we trade these two scouts along with Lord Cammi our 2nd overall pick for Stamkos”

    What happened to getting a big stay at home dmen that can hit? Last time i checked, Stamkos plays center. If you haven’t been paying attention, our team needs DEFENSEMEN, not a highly rated center.

  • BallPointHammer

    Even though there is a hierarchy of responsibilities, it sounds like everyone’s input is valued and that there can be healthy debate. Also, the guys seem to be very well prepared. I am confident that this will be a very good draft for the Kings, maybe the teams best ever.

  • anthony

    28 Kings,

    We can have them both, the big stay at home D-Man and Stamkos.

    DL needs to show us what he’s got.

  • amazed

    anthony, Are you even reading these interviews? Do you even understand what these guys are saying? Stamkos was not and is not the answer for this team. We have plenty of talented, young scorers already. But the last time I checked you also need to put talented defencemen on the ice as well. It doesn’t matter how many goals you score if you can’t keep the puck out of your own net. We now have a core of talented goaltenders and forwards, it is now time to solidify the team by drafting some defencemen. Your continually brag about the seats that you have and all the games you go to but in all those times have you ever tried to learn how the game works? Have these interviews shown you that there is much more than picking the “best guy” that goes into a draft? I am embarrassed for you my friend. Sure we give you a hard time once in a while but are you seriously that much of an idiot? Do yourself a favor, pick up a book or a pair of skates and learn the game.

  • Anonymous

    “most potential” means Bogosian according to the scouting reports.

    Bye bye Doughty?

  • Moondoggie

    That was an awesome interview Rich and a heartfelt thanx to Mark & Michael and the entire Kings staff for the work they’ve done in rebuilding LA. This going to be an awesome draft as it’s loaded with talent. The staff has worked to develop a plan that I’m certain has been well thought out and played. Their guns are loaded and they’re ready to play. 15 picks, just makes your mouth water thinking about it and the flexibility DL will have moving up and down the draft to maximize the picks he has. After the dismal season the Kings had, a team that took dead last (oops, sorry, 29th), to be sitting in the middle of May with the playoffs half over, it’s amazing Rich that you still hold the imagination of the devoted to the Kings looking forward to June and beyond.

    Many thanx for keeping the fire burning!

  • KopiStar

    Bogosian isn’t a sure thing, remember….DL said he doesn’t use the scouting reports as a final decision maker. He may see something in Doughty or Pietrangelo that he likes over Bogosian.

  • mcpuck

    The Kings need a “stay at home” physical defensemen. The have Johnson, Lubo, Harrold, and Hickey as skaters. The smart move to take Bosoagian. He is physical and is bigger that Doughty.

  • Anonymous

    The question is. Can we get two top rated defenseman in this years draft. Now that would be some thing.


  • voice of reason

    Really? This team doesnt need a #2 center? REALLY?

    Depth at center in this organization is about as solid as its depth at D. It’s critical that someone with playmaking and two way ability be there to play over Derek Armstrong. Saying “Thats what Brian Boyle is going to do” is unacceptable. If I have to tell you why, go away forever.

    Think before you press “submit.”

  • Anonymous

    I think they have consistently said that you get the best player available when you’re picking, not the best player available based on your needs. So if Stamkos was available when we picked AND we think he’s the best player that’s who we would take. Realistically it’s pretty unlikely any of these guys are going to step into the line up next season. But with enough high caliber prospects regardless of position we can trade for guys to fill the holes that we have.

  • EJ

    anthony said:

    “We can have them both, the big stay at home D-Man and Stamkos.

    DL needs to show us what he’s got.”

    If DL could find a way to get two of the top five picks, he’d take two top D-men, not Stamkos and one D.

    Can you not comprehend how shallow this team is on D? And I’m not talking about NHL level; I’m talking about throughout the org.

  • Anonymous

    Stamkos will not be available when Kings pick unless
    1-Tampa Bay is disbanded from NHL
    2-DL has naked pictures of Feaster and can bribe him
    I have to agree with think before you post statement
    especially when it comes to trades. No you cannot put
    together a package of Cammy and Armstrong to Nashville
    for Shea Weber.

  • Marc Nathan

    Because we realized that after him — if that’s who Tampa decides to take — there’s a tremendous core of players right there for us to make our decision on.”

    So glad I wasn’t drinking a beverage when I read this. LOL.

    And ANYONE thinking the Kings wouldn’t be quantum leaps better with Stamkos in their lineup next year should go watch another sport, because this one isn’t making any sort of impact on their brain!

  • Eric K

    nobody’s saying we wouldn’t be better with stamkos. we absolutely would. we do need a #2 center, but if we’re assuming stamkos is taken #1 (and that IS what i’m assuming), what center is gonna be a better choice for our team than doughty or bogosian or pietrangelo… kyle beach? cody hodgson? no chance. if we skipped drafting a defenseman now, we might eventually sneak into the playoffs, but we ain’t winning anything big with our D.

    we were 13th in goals scored. we were 28th in goals against. that’s the bottom line.

    oh, and we got oscar moller at 52 last year. we can still pick a solid center with dallas’ first-rounder or our second-rounder, but we need our first pick to be a game-changer… at D.

  • I wanted to thank you for this great read!! I definitely enjoying every little bit of it I have you bookmarked to check out new stuff you post..

  • Thank you for a great post