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.
Dean Lombardi, the Kings’ general manager, talked Tuesday about his decision to trade forward Simon Gagne to the Philadelphia Flyers for a conditional draft pick. Here’s some of what Lombardi said went into the move:
Christopher Gibson, a goaltender from the Chicoutimi Sagueneens of the QMJHL, became the Kings’ first pick at the Entry Draft Saturday, going 49th overall in the second round.
Gibson has an interesting background: His father Peter Gibson, a martial arts instructor, was born in England. His mother, Ulla Perttilahti, is Finnish. Gibson grew up in Karkkila, Finland, but at age 15 left for North America to play hockey.
In his second major junior season, Gibson fnished first in the QMJHL with a .920 save percentage and second with a 2.42 goals-against average last season. In four playoff games, those numbers dipped to .865 and 5.20, but he was good enough to become the third goalie drafted this year (Magnus Hellberg went to Nashville at #38 and John Gibson went to Anaheim at #39).
The Kings used their final five picks to select center Andy Andreoff (third round, 80th overall), left wing Nick Shore (third round, 82nd overall), left wing Michael Mersch (fourth round, 110th overall), left wing Joel Lowry (fifth round, 140th overall) and left wing Michael Schumacher (seventh round, 200th overall).
Even though, by this afternoon, everyone was fairly certain the Kings would draft defenseman Drew Doughty with the No. 2 pick, there was a nervous moment for Doughty just before the draft started.
Sitting in the stands with his family, Doughty watched as Kings GM Dean Lombardi and Calgary GM Darryl Sutter had a long conversation and shook hands. Doughty thought the worst.
“I kind of buried my head in my hands,” Doughty said. “I said, `Oh, no.’ I really wanted to be a L.A. King.”
Doughty, who grew up as a fan of the Wayne Gretzky-era Kings, was concerned that the Kings had just traded their No. 2 pick to Calgary. Doughty was quite relieved to learn that while the Kings did trade a first-round draft pick, it was their No. 28 pick and had nothing to do with him or the No. 2 pick. A few minutes later, Doughty became a King.
Here’s the path the Kings took to drafting defenseman Colten Teubert with the No. 13 pick tonight…
The Kings acquired a 2008 first-round pick from Dallas in the trade last season that sent Mattias Norstrom to the Stars. That pick ended up being the No. 28 overall pick.
The Kings sent that No. 28 pick, along with the No. 17 pick they acquired by trading Michael Cammalleri to Calgary, for the Ducks’ No. 12 pick, which the Ducks had acquired from Edmonton.
The Kings, eyeing defenseman Colten Teubert, thought they could move down from the No. 12 spot and still get Teubert. They had a deal in place, with an unnamed team, to move down two or three spots but Buffalo, which held the No. 13 pick, was nervous about missing out on its targeted player. The Kings and Sabres talked, and the Kings agreed to trade the No. 12 pick for Buffalo’s No. 13 pick, plus a third-round pick in 2009, UNLESS the Kings and Sabres coveted the same player.
How did they resolve this? Each GM got out pen and paper and wrote down which player he wanted to draft. They agreed to make the 12-13 swap if they coveted different players, so that the third, unamed team wouldn’t swoop in and steal Buffalo’s targeted player. They showed each other the papers. The Kings wanted Teubert; the Sabres wanted Tyler Myers.
The Kings and Sabres made the swap. Buffalo took Myers at No. 12 and the Kings took Teubert at No. 13.
And it’s just that simple…
Here are some quotes from Dean Lombardi after the first round of the draft. I didn’t get to ask him about Dan Cloutier because he had to cut the call short. I’ll get it tomorrow.
On his analysis of the two picks…
“Doughty’s hockey sense is off the charts. I think everyone has a handle of what type of player he is and the special player he could become. … I think we got (toughness) from Teubert and I think that element was lacking in our group.”
On the decision to trade back up in the first round…
“We set a target from (picks) 11 to 13. That’s where we had to be to assure ourselves that we had (Teubert). I was offered some good players (for Cammalleri) who could help us now but they didn’t help us in terms of this young core we have put together.”
On how the three-team trade came together…
“I couldn’t get anyone to trade with me outright. What was clear to me was that I couldn’t get into where I needed to be (to get Teubert). To give up Cammalleri, we had to be in that layer, where Teubert would be there. I couldn’t get there outright (trading with one team), so I had to work at sprucing it up a little. … (Pick No.) 17 was not enough for me to get what I wanted. I thought he was going in the 13-15 range so I was going to teams in the 11 to 14 range. I’m going to teams saying, `If I get 17, would you take 17 and 32?’ You start laying out your cards. We (Lombardi, Brian Burke and Darryl Sutter) were all upfront about what we wanted.”
On the decision to trade down from No. 12 to No. 13…
“There was a choice. I could have traded and moved down two spots if I wanted to get cute with it. There was an opportunity for me to move back two or three spots and take a chance that (Teubert) would be there. Finally I went to (Buffalo) and said I won’t trade with this other team if you tell me who you’re taking. So we wrote down who we both wanted and kind of turned the paper over. Sort of like blackjack, showing your cards. We didn’t have the same player written down, so we made the trade.”
On the idea that this is the most important draft in franchise history…
“I got pressure put on me by my owner (team governor Tim Leiweke), who said, `I want the best Kings draft in history.’ … That’s a little internal pressure, which is good. … I guess we won’t know unti we’re down the road a little ways, but I don’t know which draft isn’t important.”
On the decision to trade Michael Cammalleri…
“This kid is obviously a good player, but it became fairly clear to me that he was probably going to be a one-year asset, and it’s very clear that our ownership wants a young nucleus. … I think that arbitration process, people said the Kings won but you never win. Quite frankly it’s a lose-lose situation. That was certainly a factor going forward. OUr chances of losing him and not maximizing our value were pretty good.”
Here’s what I know…
— It’s probably 94 percent certain that the Kings will choose Drew Doughty. Dean Lombardi has not said so explicitly, nor will he, but I wouldn’t say something like that if I had serious doubts. I’m leaving a five-percent margin of error, in case the Kings get overwhelmed by a trade offer tomorrow, and a one-percent margin of error in case they discover tomorrow that Zach Bogosian can stop pucks with his teeth and score on 80-foot slap shots.
— The likelihood of any trade, at this point, is fairly low. I really believed that the Kings would be able to package Cammalleri or Visnovsky, but it doesn’t seem that the trade market in Ottawa is as strong as some anticipated it would be. There seems to be a willingness among some teams to wait and see how free agency shakes out.
— A Kings move back into the top 15 of the draft is possible, but not probable, at this point, given the trade market. Lombardi did comment on this point, and said, “I’m not sure I can get (a pick) high enough that I just don’t sit. You put your lines in the water and see what happens.”
Again, I’ll admittedly hedge my bets on the last two, because as I write this, there’s still about 17 hours until the draft, and anything could happen. But that’s what is out there at the moment.