Big-time travel day for the Kings on Tuesday as the Western Conference finals returned to Chicago. There was one nugget of news, however. The Kings signed forward Valentin Zykov to a three-season entry-level contract. Zykov, a 6-foot-2, 205-pound native of St. Petersburg, Russia, was a second-round pick in last year’s draft who played last season with junior-level Baie-Comeau.
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).