The Kings learned free-agent center Brad Richardson signed a two-season, $2.3-million contract Friday with the Vancouver Canucks. Richardson recorded one goal and five assists in only 16 games last season, sitting out all but two of the first 34 contests. He’s likely to be slotted into a fourth-line role with the Canucks. Richardson played 255 games over five seasons with the Kings, but had only 24 goals and 41 assists.
The Kings signed free-agent defenseman Jeff Schultz to a one-season deal worth $700,000 on Friday, a move made necessary by the departure of defenseman Rob Scuderi. Schultz, 27, fell out of favor with the Washington Capitals last season, playing only 26 games in the lockout-shortened 48-game season. He asked for a trade in April and the Capitals bought him out of his contract and he became an unrestricted free agent. Schultz, a 6-foot-6, 230-pound native of Calgary, had only three assists last season.
Here’s what Sports Illustrated had to say, with a letter grade at the end:
“With no first-round pick in their pocket, the Kings had to trade up to grab Valentin Zykov (37) in the second. He plays a Kings’ game: heavy on the puck, strong, aggressive and enough touch to lead all QMJHL rookies in scoring. RW Hudson Fasching (118) had a higher profile early in the season, but he never quite found his scoring touch.He has the size to play the power forward game, but needs to start showing some finish if he hopes to advance. C”
In case you didn’t bother to sit through all 24 hours (OK, so it was more like seven) of the NHL Draft on Sunday, here are the Kings selections:
First round: Traded pick No. 27 to Columbus in Jeff Carter deal Feb. 23, 2012.
Second round: Valentin Zykov, left wing, Baie-Comeau (Quebec Major Junior Hockey League), 37th overall. (The Kings traded second-, third- and fourth-round picks to Edmonton to move up to 37th to get Zykov)
Fourth round: Justin Auger, right wing, Guelph (Ontario Hockey League), 103rd.
Fourth round: Hudson Fasching, right wing, U.S. National Development Program, 118th.
(The Kings expect Fasching to play at the University of Minnesota)
Fifth round: Patrik Bartosak, goaltender, Red Deer (Western Hockey League), 146th.
Fifth round: Jonny Brodzinski, center, St. Cloud State (Minn.), 148th.
Sixth round: Zachary Leslie, defenseman, Guelph (OHL), 178th.
Seventh round: Dominik Kubalik, left wing, Sudbury (OHL), 191st.
Seventh round: Traded pick No. 208 to New Jersey on Sunday for a seventh-round pick in 2015.
All things considered it was a pretty dull day. Don’t expect to see any of these guys playing in the NHL soon, although there’s a certainly a chance for Zykov to make an impression at training camp in September.
The Kings dealt their first three picks in the NHL Draft on Sunday afternoon to the Edmonton Oilers to move up to No. 37 and select Russian left wing Valentin Zykov of Baie-Comeau of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League in the second round. Edmonton received picks in the second (57th), third (88th) and fourth rounds (96th).
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.
Follow me on Twitter: @ElliottTeaford
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.