Lombardi comments on prospects

I asked Dean Lombardi to give some quick thoughts, almost like a word-association test, about some of the top prospects in the draft…

JOHN TAVARES: “Certainly the first thing that jumps out is that he’s talented. Great hands. Sees the ice. Makes plays. Strong. Potential No. 1 center.”

VICTOR HEDMAN: “A horse. Potential top-two defenseman. Size. Can really skate. Sees the ice. One of those guys with the potential to be a 25-to-30-minute guy.”

MATT DUCHENE: “Smart. Clever. Makes a lot of plays. High character.”

EVANDER KANE: “Scores goals; his No. 1 asset. Finds ways to get open and has that sixth sense around the net. Great release. Good skater. His No. 1 attribute is finding those areas where goal scorers seem to know where to go.”

BRAYDEN SCHENN: “Smart. Competitive. Does all the little things. Rises to the occasion in big games.”

MAGNUS PAAJARVI SVENSSON: “Speed. Elite skater. Certainly has some talent, but the thing that jumps out at you is that he might be as good a skater as you can find. Explosive, fast, quick, and he does have some talent. He’s not just a skater.”

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  • BakoCAcameraGuy

    All I can say to DL is:

    KEEP THE PICK, DEAN!!!!!!!!

  • Rory

    I’m very excited for this draft. Last year I was set on doughty but this year I really like Kane and Schenn so either way the kings are going to get a player who seems like he’ll really fit in with how DL want his teams to play.

    Although they might trade it…

  • MrMach5

    BRAYDEN SCHENN: “Smart. Competitive. Does all the little things. Rises to the occasion in big games.”

    “Rises to the occasion in big games” Wow we kinda need that.

  • GoKings09

    MrMach5,

    We could also use Kane, “Scores goals; his No. 1 asset. Finds ways to get open and has that sixth sense around the net. Great release. Good skater. His No. 1 attribute is finding those areas where goal scorers seem to know where to go.”

    We need to score more and he knows how to put the puck in the net.

    I think my preference out of these top prospects not counting the top 3 who will definitely be gone by #5 would be:
    1)Kane
    2)MPS
    3)Schenn
    4)Cowen

    What could be interesting is if Hedman goes first overall I think that pretty much forces the Lightning to make some sort of move or pick Cowen way too early at 2nd overall. If they draft Tavares then they have to move Vinny I think and the Kings may be able to jump up by offering the 5th pick where they can get Cowen plus another D prospect maybe since they need D most of all.

    If that doesn’t happen I hope Burke jumps up to 4 to get Schenn and leaves Kane for us at 5 :)

  • nykingfan

    DL likes character guys (Duchene). You can make a case for all of them.
    My suspicion is he trades the pick…don’t know for who or what…
    Makes for a really interesting friday night.

  • petey

    Schenn is there guy. Dean loves smart, competitive players. He pretty much said the same things about Justin Williams, and we all know how he feels about him.

  • mike

    I’m one of those that hoping Evander Kane falls to us at 5, if not i say take Schenn

  • KevinWestgarth

    Keep the pick unless DL can land Kovi or Vinny for the pick, Frolov, and ?…

  • MacSwede

    GoKings09,

    I totally agree with you. I would also pick MPS before Schenn, he is too much of a Stoll/Handzus player, ok maybe a little more productive. But we need real offensive players like MPS or Kane.. Our 2nd line center problem we could solve later, I think Kane can play both center and wing. And we must give Loktionov a chance, if not Lewis and Boyle can take it.

  • nykingfan

    GoKings09

    If Snow picks Hedman over Tavares, he’ll be hanging in the rafters along side Bossy, Trottier and the others jerseys…
    They sold about 17k tickets for the draft party and everyone on Long Island is expecting him to pick Tavares. I’m not saying that Hedman isn’t the better pick, but its a franchise that has no superstars or guys to market. They draw about 50% capacity in a lousy building.
    Also, there’s been no talk at all from the Islanders about doing anything….I would assume that means he takes Tavares.

  • MacSwede

    Which time is the draft on friday? How many rounds is it the first day? I cant find the correct info, could someone help me?

    I have to now how long I have to stay up ;)

  • mike

    i dont know what the time difference is from you to California, but the draft will be on from 4:00-8:00 pm Pacific Time in Versus. So there you go if this helps.

  • Jordan

    Let the reading between the lines commence! Sounds to me like MPS is not going to happen, and unless Dean can trade up to get Duchene he’ll be taking Schenn.

  • Quisp

    2009, in a world where there are no big Kings trades/signings:

    Frolov/Kopitar/Williams
    Purcell/Stoll/Brown
    Lewis/Handzus/Simmonds
    F10/F11/Moller
    F13/F14

    Competing for F11: Boyle, Azevedo, Loktionov, 2009 #5 pick
    Competing for F10: 2009 #5 pick, Wudrick, King, Parse, Moulson, Cliche, Clune
    Competing for F13/F14: Ivanans, Westgarth, some craggy UFA vet

    Moller could center the fourth line, in which case Cliche is the only natural right wing in that batch of prospects; although Loktionov plays RW on the power play for Windsor.

    I don’t think Loktionov will be ready for the big show this year. As DL said, he thinks he will be in Manchester in 09-10. But it’s possible he pulls a Moller and makes the big club.

    If he’s ready this year (the surprise we’re hoping for, obviously), there’s a world in which our fourth line is

    MSP/Moller/Loktionov

    which needless to say is mouth-watering. Really, it would be our fourth line only because you have to call the Stoll/Brown line the second line.

    However, if Loktionov isn’t ready (which is the most likely scenario and I should try to be rational ha ha), there are several decent options for line four, depending on who shows up ready in September and what kind of fourth line we’re going for, For instance:

    Purcell/Boyle/Moller
    Clune/Azevedo/Cliche (the agitating defense line)
    Wudrick/Boyle/King (three very large people)
    Wudrick/Boyle/Moller
    Azevedo/Moller/Cliche

    I’m not sure if Brayden Schenn is thought to be NHL ready at this point. Kane has been said to be. As has MSP. If we are lucky enough to get Kane, I think he would be a fine 4th line center in the fall.

    x/Kane/Moller

    Of course, all this will change in a million ways by the fall, and maybe by saturday…

  • Quisp

    macswede:

    first round is 7PM eastern time, i.e. 4PM California time and I have no idea what time that is in Sweden.

    second round onward is Saturday morning, starting, I believe, at 10am eastern time.

  • src3

    BB will offer DL something for the 5th. If DL does not get what he wants then he will pick Schenn nr. 5 and dangle him at BB until he caves in. He can still trade Schenn to TOR for their 7th and the ransom he wants-thus giving Burke another few minutes to contemplate before the 7th pick is made. BB has to at least get Schenn out of this draft to save face. He has been talking the talk and must walk the walk. Kassian is a BB type of player, but not sexy enough to back up his talk.

    Do we get another high second rounder for the swapping of the 5th and 7th?? If so, does DL pull the trigger on Heater? Were Hextals comments a smoke screen? At this point Murry is sweating bullets hoping to dump Heater. Maybe the 7th and something (JJ) would be enough. We get the LW we need (character in question) and still have 2 high second rounders. Not that I would necessarily prefer this. I am holding hope that ATL caves in with their new GM assoc. Going into total rebuild mode. Then….5th and huge package for KOVI!!!!!

    I dont see us keeping the 5th unless Kane is there. We get at least another 2nd rounder out of trading down to nr.7. I also agree that Schenn will never be more than a nr. 2 center with grit. We have Moller and Loki in the wings. This pick will get traded if Kane is gone!!

    At nr. 7 we get MPS, Kassian, or….???

    Go DL!!!!

  • Mark

    One thing DL said at the state of the franchise that really stood out to me was something to the extent of “Don’t want to tip my hand, but we are going after the character guy.” Only one guy got that mention here. Hopefully he has something up his sleeve for Duchene.

  • src3

    that will be 1AM for us in Scandanavia

  • Ross

    I wonder if anyone has considered this possible scenario. What if Victor Hedman is drafted #1 by the NYI? Now, most would expect that TBL would draft Tavares #2, but there are a number of factors that suggest they may do something else. That something might be to trade the pick to our beloved Kings.

    Here is the possible trade:

    #2 overall pick for #5 pick & either Jack Johnson or one to two of our prospects.

    Here are the reasons why this might happen:

    1. Most people think that by drafting Tavares #2, the TBL would have that one two punch, with Stamkos, that a lot teams like to have. But one must also consider that TBL already has Lecavalier. If they draft Tavares as well then they would have three offensive centermen, which is one too many. Now, they could just draft Tavares and trade Lecavalier. The point about this that one must consider is that Lecavalier is already a proven commodity, whereas Tavares is still just an uber prospect. Trading Lecavalier and getting the resources he is likely to land while at the same time taking a risk on Tavares, which is likely not that big of a risk, may seem like a win all around scenario, but there is still a risk involved here. Plus trading Lecavalier is not likely to be a simple matter, and it is not certain that TBL even want to trade Lecavalier.

    2. It is no secret that TBL will be looking for defense come draft day. While they may have a number of defensive prospects already in their system, their big league club is in desperate need now. By trading the #2 pick in the trade suggested, they may fulfill their need for defense now plus they will still be able to draft a quality defensive prospect at #5, i.e. Cowen, Ekman-Larsson, or Kulikov.

    3. Why this makes sense for the Kings is that by drafting #2, they get the chance to select Tavares, who could be providing offense for the Kings by next season, or even Matt Duchene, who is compared to new HOF indcutee, Yzerman, which people ought to like. Now this provides the Kings with another valuable high end offensive prospect, one of which, again, may payoff as soon as next season.

    Now this trade may be feasible even if Tavares is picked first overall. While TBL would love to pick Hedman, by making the trade that is suggested they may still come out ahead, especially if they really like Cowen, which some suggest is not that far off of Hedman in overall potential. Also, while the Kings would likely not pick Hedman second, Duchene would certainly be worth moving up to pick, in my mind at least.

    This is of course is pure speculation, but since most of the fun this time of year comes from talking about these things, I thought I might add this bit to the conversation.

  • Quisp

    mark –

    yes, and in his comments to rich I interpret calling tavares “talented” as a bit of a back-handed compliment, i.e. he’s talented but there are character issues and/or issues of “completeness”. TEA-LEAF WARNING: I realize I’m making an interpretation here and DL probably wasn’t implying anything of the kind. however, when you have a player under scrutiny like tavares, who has character and/or two-way-player question marks attached to him in the past, DL has to know that whatever he says will be filtered through that.

    Here’s my question: if DL had the choice of having the #1 pick this year, or the #5 pick and, say, the #15 pick, which do you think he would rather have?

    Because I think he would much rather have Kane and Kassian, or Schenn and Kassian, or MSP and Kassian, than John Tavares. Or maybe that’s just me.

    And let’s not forget that DL traded assets to get a #12 pick last year, to go with his #2.

    I would be much happier with the prospect of DL drafting two out of the top twenty (and parting with, say, Jack Johnson — for instance, JJ to Nashville for their 1st and 2nd round picks: 11th and 41st overall — okay, maybe 1st and 3rd rounders) than I would be with the prospect of trading for VL or DH.

  • -J

    Rich- if you get a chance, I think it’d be interesting to see what DL has to say about Cowen, the consesus top D beyond Hedman that is most likely to be available still at #5. I would not be surprised if the Kings went with a D-man this year again. Thanks.

    quisp- i think the fact that you have purcell and lewis pencilled in on left wing when neither are natural left wings is ominous. Beyond Frolov, there just really aren’t any pure left wings in the system to take those spots. I won’t be surprised to see continued line juggling this year as TM tries to see who can handle the move to the left side.

    For me, I’d much rather they address the more immediate (less than 2 years) need via free agency (most likely next year’s FA crop) and use some 2nd and 3rd rounders to stock the left side for the future. I don’t honestly see any left wings in the first round making it and having an impact in the next 2 years.

    For the 3rd/4th line, don’t forget about richardson. He’s still young and i’d think he’s given every shot next year to prove he was worth a 2nd rounder.

  • Quisp

    Ross –

    I was much happier a few months ago when Duchene was projected to go about 7th and mock drafts had him falling to the Kings.

    Everything you say makes sense. I would not be surprised to see your scenario transpire. I do think DL takes Duchene over Hedman though.

    Also, in our overlapping posts, I suggested a related scenario, in which JJ was used to acquire a mid-1st round pick, with which to grab someone like Kassian. Named Kassian.

    However, I don’t think NYI is going to take Hedman first. It’s a very dangerous move (it’s a DL kind of move — like how people said even if the Kings had won the lottery he would still have picked Doughty).

  • Quisp

    -J, re Purcell and Lewis

    True, but Purcell (at least) has played on his off-wing before. His power-play time was on the left side. I can picture clearly a beautiful pass he made off the left-side boards to Kopitar on the opposite hash-marks, after taking a couple of decisive strides toward the middle to draw people to him. And I have watched Teddy stay after practice to work on one-timers and deflections from the left side, so I know, at the very least, it’s something he’s prepared for. p.s. his accuracy, and Moller’s (who was running the drills with him), was/were astounding. And I mean astounding in comparison to Kopitar and Frolov, who were also in attendance. I’m not saying Teddy is better than those guys, but that he’s got some serious hands. I have no problem with him on the off-wing.

    And Lewis — I have no reason to say this, other than he is a skilled player who plays solid defense — I really think he’s the ideal complement to Handzus and Simmonds.

    All that said, I agree completely that we need help on the left side. By 2011, at least one of Wudrick, King or Clune should have arrived. And maybe — maaaaaaaybe — Moulson gets signed and sticks this time. I still hold out hope that he’s one of those Robitaille-like guys who can score a ton despite the fact that people think he shouldn’t be able to skate in this league. He has “the knack.”

  • CanadianKing

    Hey Rich, I have a request and I think this is finally the time to ask.

    Could you ask Dean if Doughty was his target player going into last years draft? I have always been curious to know if the Kings won the lottery whether they still would of taken Doughty, or gone with Stamkos.

    Thanks alot.

  • bob

    Somewhat off-topic…I just want to say how sick it is to see TB get yet another #1 pick. Yeah, I know they pick #2, but we all know that’s just as good as #1. So basically, that’s THREE #1 picks in the last 10 years…PLUS, they’ve won a cup in the last 5. Jesus Christ, get them out of here already.

  • MacSwede

    I think you have interesting scenarios, all of you. And you never know what will happen on friday. I am getting really excited, friday is soon here :)

    If we would trade for the 2nd pick as some of you suggested, I would easily pick Hedman over Duchene though… He is an immediate player like Doughty was last year, and he can play right away. And then we can package some of our other defensemen for a left winger or something..

    But as I said before, Kings might as well keep the pick, i just dont hope they take Schenn..

    If they dont sign Gaborik as a FA, I am sure that they will trade for Sturm or a similar player (sturm has SJ connection…DL). Because as some of you said, we are really short on LWs..

    Frolov Kopitar Williams
    Gaborik/Sturm Stoll Brown
    Kane/MPS Handzus Simmonds
    Ivanans Lewis Richardson

    Doughty Greene
    Quincey JJ
    Voinov Drewiske/SOD

  • Jordan

    @bob:

    And yet, they finished 2nd to last in the NHL and as of June 2 were ranked 26th in the NHL in organizational depth by Hockey’s Future.

  • bob

    Jordan:

    On top of all that, it sure seems like the Kings have sucked much longer than TB…and yet not one #1 pick, and of course no CUP.

  • 28 KINGS

    The difference is when Tampa sucks, they finish in bottom 2 or 3. When we suck, we end up finishing 18-20th (under Dave Taylor). Not good enough to make the playoffs, and still not bad enough to get a top 5 pick. There’s his legacy right there.

  • darko25o

    back in the day, what did Burke give up to get the other Sedin for Vancouver?

  • -J

    darko25o- basically it was for bryan mccabe and a 1st the following year- http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/hockey/nhl/1999/draft/news/1999/06/26/nhldraft_twins/

  • darko25o

    Thanks J!

  • Cynic

    Why couldn’t BB trade for the #2 pick to get Hedman and then in turn, trade Hedman to the Kings for the #5 (Or Schenn if we pick him) and ___________? Don’t ask me what BB has to offer Tampa Bay, but if he pulls that off, I could really see us getting Hedman.

    Call me crazy, and you will among other things, but Dean understands the value of a guy who wants to be here (Doughty). BB is a warlock and has the ability to do something like this. Deano and BB are good trading partners and might be willing to help each other out here.

    I’m going to ask Quisp, who I believe will give a concerted effort on this, If he will give a potential scenario of players/picks that could make sense in a deal with this framework:

    TOR trades ___________ to TB For #2

    TOR Picks Hedman

    TOR trades Hedman to LA for #5 or Schenn & ___________

    My thanks in advance Q.

  • Cynic

    Lead story on TSN right now. TB Might move #2, might not.

    http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=282754

  • Quisp

    Cynic –

    I really don’t know what Toronto could possibly offer to TB to pry the #2 from them. Maybe Luke Schenn and the #7 pick, but he’s not making that trade, obviously. Really, Burke’s got nothing, unless maybe it’s Kaberle. Kaberle and the #7?

    Okay, how about this, for your fill in the blanks:

    TOR trades Kaberle, the #7 pick, the #50 pick, and their 2009 first round pick to TB for #2.

    TOR picks Hedman (or Tavares, whoever’s left). If Tavares, the game stops there, because that’s Burke’s wet dream. If Hedman, he flips Hedman to the Kings for Schenn, Jack Johnson and the 5th. With the #5, he selects Schenn.

    In sum,

    Kings get Hedman, give up Johnson.
    Toronto gets Schenn, give up Kaberle, a 2nd round pick and their 1st in 2010.
    TB gets Cowan and two nice picks, gives up the #2.

    Could happen. Probably won’t.

  • MacSwede

    There are lots of talks now abouting trading the top picks.. And there are rumours about any of the top 5 picks..

    How much of a chance is there that nothing happens? That no trade for the top picks is made, and every team just draft with their pick?

  • JDM

    MacSwede,

    I think that is the most likely scenario. The trading will probably pick up around the 10th or 11th pick.

    You never know though, there is a lot of potential for some fun action on Friday.

    I’m really hoping that Hedman goes first and causes a big ripple of movement. There would be the opportunity to make a steal to greatly improve the Kings, but there is also potential for disasterous overpayment that could set us back a bit.

    I think the most likely trade to happen in the top 5 is Burke moving up to 4. If that happens and Kane falls to us I will be THRILLED.

    If we managed to snag #2 though, and Hedman is gone, I say go with Duchene.

  • Barada

    How about we keep the #5 and take Schenn, but…

    Trade something like
    JJ/Teubert/Moller/Boyle and a pick for
    Tampa Bay’s #2 and pick Duchene.
    (If it hurts less, substitute Purcell for Moller)

    I know it’s expensive, but we come out of the draft with 2 outstanding, elite FWs, BOTH of whom
    will play in the NHL by 2010-11 at the latest,
    and could even make the team this coming season!

    It’s worth putting together a big pkg for, because Duchene does not appear to be an ordinary player.

    I say, go for all the marbles with Duchene and Schenn!!
    (And if Schenn is gone by #5, then Evander Kane may still be there, or at the very least, MSP).

  • MacSwede

    Barada!

    “And if Schenn is gone by #5, then Evander Kane may still be there, or at the very least, MSP”

    If both Schenn and Kane ar gone before 5th means that one of Hedman, Tavarez or Duchene are left…simple math!

    JDM!

    “If we managed to snag #2 though, and Hedman is gone, I say go with Duchene”

    Is Duchene really that good? Would you really pick him before Tavarez?

    Isnt Tavarez the best player in the draft? I mean, we talked about him allready in the last years draft for christ sake! Which of the others was mentioned then? none..

    What are your thoughts about tavarez? How good is he really? Is he a superstar like Crosby, Malkin, Ovechkin? Or is he more like Stamkos is predicted to be, LeCavallier, Kopitar?

    Since I am from sweden I dont know the american players as good as the swedes. But I have studied Kane, Schenn and Cowan since its a good chance that Kings will take one of them. Hedmn is really solid, I love the speed of MPS, but tell me, how good is Tavarez and Duchene really???

  • MacSwede

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j5_8WtHn0nE

    Did he just say “Patrick OSullivan”?

    Then maybe Tavares is a Kings fan (he must have seen sully play mostly there).

    And now, the speculations can begin (as they did for Hedman when someone found out he followed Kings)
    ;-)

  • number 6

    MacSwede….. that’s great! Someone needs to email that to Patrick OS. It might help lift his morale. That was unexpected wasn’t it. Hey, are you MacSwede cause you like Mac computers? :-)

  • MacSwede

    WTF!!!! No WAY!!!!

    I am MacSwede cause my name is Marcus and I am from Sweden!!

    I HATE MAC :P

    I am a computer engineer, thats why I am so upset ;)

  • Cynic

    MacS-

    I asked that question about Tavares liking POS a while back. Turns out POS was helping out Tavares with some training and such. Not much to do with his liking the Kings unfortunately as much as liking POS.

    Quisp-

    Thanks for filling in the blanks. I agree TOR doesn’t have much and I thought about your scenario except I was thinking of replacing the 2010 (I think that is what you meant) 1st rounder with a good D- Prospect, maybe Vorobiev?

    The idea (as some may ask) why not just go for the #2 directly? Well, If I’m Deano, Why not let someone like Burke pay more to get what he wants. In Quisp’s scenario, all we pay is JJ & #5 to get Hedman. Tampa would want more than that for the #2, but Burke would do that I believe. In the end, we give up less for what we want.

    I think this has more possibility of happening than Kane falling to #5 or us moving up to get Duchene.

    Another thought is if Burke can’t move up before us, we pick Schenn at #5 and then trade Schenn to TOR for the #7 and Ponikarovsky, then pick MPS with #7. This gives us 1 solid LW and one scary good prospect LW which fills up that side, not having to give up Fro. BB May want a pick in the later rounds with Schenn, but this is a possibility also I think.

    Thanks again for the help Q.

  • number 6

    ……. Ooops. Sorry MacSwede. I didn’t know that. Don’t hold it against me :-)

  • King Arthur

    What I don’t get is how people are saying that MPS is an offensive machine when the last couple of years his numbers are not that great. Granted he did play with the big boys in the Swedish Elite League, but still. All of the other top guys have eye popping numbers. Am I missing something? Is it more of his potential to generate big numbers due to his size, speed?

  • King Arthur

    Sorry, regarding MPS’s numbers, here they are:

    SEASON TEAM GP G A PTS PIM
    2007-08 Timra Jr. 18 7 15 22 6
    2007-08 Timra 35 1 2 3 2
    2007-08 U-18 6 2 3 5 6
    2008-09 Timra 50 7 10 17 4
    2008-09 WJC 6 2 5 7 6

  • -J

    King Arthur- CHL and SEL numbers are not comparible, nor are CHL numbers comparible with any adult euro league. Look at Ovechkin’s stats from the RSL the year before he was drafted- 53 gp, 13 goals, 10 assists. Or how about malkin’s- 34 gp, 3 g, 9a. And these guys were taken 1-2 overall. That is why scout’s use more than stats.

    Also, you left out MPS’s 09 U-18 numbers, which were 6gp- 6g 6a, making him among the top scorers for that tourney.

  • MacSwede

    -J

    I couldnt have said it better myself. 50-7-10-17 is not bad for playing against the big boys, and he also did some fantastic moves that not always resulted in a goal. The kid has potential, no doubt about it….but youll see ;)

    And Cynic,

    Why would Toronto give ut their second pick for only 5th and JJ. They can pick Schenn at no 2 if they want..

  • MacSwede

    …or trade with Atlanta or even Colorado as well..

  • King Arthur

    -J

    Thanks for the info, makes sense. I hope Dean picks Schenn over MPS though..

  • -J

    King Arthur- DL’s draft tendencies are slanted towards NA and mainly CHL players so i don’t think you have to hope too much. I could be wrong, but i think the only SEL players drafted under his tenure as GM are Samuelson and Andersen. Even more, Loktionov and Voinov are the only players drafted out of euro leagues in his time as Kings GM once his scouting team was in place.

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