NHL teams had 170 chances to select left wing Luc Robitaille in the 1984 draft. The Kings passed on him eight times before taking him in the ninth round (171st overall), which probably makes Robitaille the greatest late-round pick in league history. He went on to become the all-time leading scorer in NHL history for a left wing. Oh by the way, the Kings’ fourth-round selection in 1984? Tom Glavine, a center whose career path took him in a different. Glavine became an All-Star pitcher for the Atlanta Braves.
Drafting 18-year-old prospects is an inexact science, particularly as the rounds go by and the names aren’t as familiar. But the Kings have had some success in drafting beyond the first and second rounds in their history. The Kings don’t have a first-round pick in Sunday’s draft, but they have one in the second round, one in the third and three in the fourth. The Kings’ top second-round picks were detailed in an earlier post. Here are some of the best selections they made in the third and fourth rounds over the years:
2013 NHL Draft
Where: Prudential Center, Newark, N.J.
When: Sunday, noon (PDT).
TV: NBC Sports Network (NHL Network will pick up coverage after 5 p.m).
Unlike past years, all seven rounds will be held Sunday. So, it’s expected the draft will run past the 5 p.m. window set aside for NBCSN. In that case, switch over to the NHL Network, which will pick up the coverage until the last selection is made. Also, NBCSN is live streaming the draft for desktops, mobile devices and tablets. Go to NBCSports.com/liveextra. There’s an app available at the App Store for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch and selected Android devices, too.
Check back here Sunday for updates on the Kings’ selections.
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The Kings don’t have a first-round pick in Sunday’s NHL Entry Draft, having sent the selection to the Columbus Blue Jackets to complete the trade for Jeff Carter on Feb. 23, 2012. The Kings’ highest pick Sunday will be late in the second round (57th overall). Their history of second-round picks was pretty shabby in their early days. Dean Kennedy (1981), anyone? But it has picked up considerably in recent years.
Here’s a look at some of the Kings’ better second-round selections in the 2000s:
Here are the Kings’ picks in Sunday’s draft:
First round: no selection (27th pick was sent to Columbus in Jeff Carter trade in 2011-12).
Second round: 57th pick.
Third round: 88th.
Fourth round: 96th (acquired from Carolina), 103rd (from Philadelphia), 118th.
Fifth round: 146th (from Montreal), 148th.
Sixth round: 178th.
Seventh round: 191st (from Dallas), 208th.
The draft begins at noon (PDT) and NBC Sports Network will show all of it.
What seemed like an inevitable off-season move actually happened Sunday morning, when the Kings traded backup goaltender Jonathan Bernier to the Toronto Maple Leafs in exchange for forward Matt Frattin, goalie Ben Scrivens and a second-round draft pick in either 2014 or ’15.
In the fourth and final installment of Kings coach Darryl Sutter’s postseason session with reporters, he talks about the media’s need for news versus the team’s need for secrecy when it comes to injuries to players, especially during the playoffs. And there’s quite a bit more as Sutter wrapped up his second season as the Kings’ coach.
Question: Fans want to know who’s playing. That’s a normal curiosity.
Answer: “Yeah, it is. If they get there on time, they know who’s playing. That’s what we did as a league, right? You have seven days. If somebody goes on IR, they’re hurt. They’re out seven days. Right? I don’t understand … It’s not supposed to happen.”
Kings coach Darryl Sutter met with reporters for about 20 minutes two days after the team’s playoff ouster at the hands of the Chicago Blackhawks. The conversation touched on a variety of subjects, including what the Kings must improve on for next season. There also questions about the health of the team following a second consecutive lengthy playoff run. Sutter answered some questions, dodged others and acknowledged the job reporters have to do. Here’s the third part of a four-part installment.
Question: Talking about lowering the goal-against average for next season, would that be the major concern or would it be the left wing and the lack of production there?
Answer: “I said goals-against. I didn’t say production. We went from 30th to sixth in offense. We went to third in our conference. So, we’re not looking at it by position. We have multiple players who play multiple positions. If you’re listening, I did that once we know our roster then we would know better. Our goals-against, very simple, you don’t win. Teams I coach are always great defensively. We were a great defensive team again this year. But our goals-against … what you do home-and-road, there’s a disparity.”
Here’s the second installment of Kings coach Darryl Sutter’s post-season meeting with reporters, two days after the team was eliminated from the Western Conference finals by the Chicago Blackhawks:
Question: It seems this was a tougher coaching job for you this year because you didn’t have the consistency of the lineup, you started out without Willie Mitchell and Matt Greene …
Answer: “I think if we go down the league, every coach will say that through a 48-game schedule. It’s something I’ve done before, so you have some familiarity with it. Whether it helps or not, I don’t know. But at least you’re familiar with it. Was it tougher? Sure, it was tougher, because … Our players were awesome. There was no hangover. There was only positives taken from it. Obviously, the only negative from a short summer last year was the guys didn’t start the year. Greene, Mitchell, (Anze) Kopitar and, quite honestly, Jonathan (Quick) until probably January or February.”
Darryl Sutter met with reporters two days after the Kings were eliminated by the Chicago Blackhawks in the Western Conference finals. Here’s the first part of a multi-part quesiton-and-answer session held at the Kings’ El Segundo training facility:
Question: Have you had a chance to decompress and what are your thoughts on how the season went?
Answer: “Not really decompress, but we thought we had a really good season. It would have been harder not making the playoffs. As I told the players (the day after losing in the conference finals), we played 18 games in the playoffs this year. There’s 28 other teams that would have liked to have played 18 games. Once you’ve set that bar … As I’ve said all along, this has no bearing on anything other than you know you’re a really good hockey club and you know how close the league is. … We’ll all got to look at the team we just played and the team they’re playing to see how close the league is.”