Lombardi, on Andrew Campbell


One of the Kings’ moves that begged for some explanation was their third-round selection of Andrew Campbell from Sault Ste. Marie of the OHL. The Kings made a trade with Buffalo and moved up seven spots to grab Campbell, who is listed at 6-foot-3 and 205 pounds, with the No. 74 pick. Here what Lombardi had to say about Campbell:

“Probably he’s a version of (Wayne) Simmonds, who comes on later, after the draft. He’s a big defenseman who I think, during his draft year, moved from `project’ to `prospect.’ He’s young and he has size, and I think with our development program, we’ve got a shot. That’s probably what turned the corner for us on him. A lot of kids will do that during their draft year, particularly kids with size. They just keep getting better. There was one game where he took a puck to the face and came out for his next shift. He saved a goal by taking a puck in his face. I remember watching it and thinking, `Holy smoke.’

“Our guys liked him. Mike Futa, there in Ontario, really does a great job on the background of these kids. He just kept rising, and in the playoffs he kept getting better. He was one of (coach Craig) Hartsburg’s better defensemen on that team, which went a fairly long way in the playoffs. Then like I said, we saw him put his face in front of a puck and come out for his next shift and we thought, `This is our kind of guy.’ I was a little nervous that there was one team, in particular, that was picking ahead of us, that made me a little nervous. I said, `Let’s make sure we get him and take a shot here.”’

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