Drafting Skills: LA Kings

Recent Draft History – Evaluating the first 3 rounds of the last 5 Drafts for each team. I’ve left out 2016, as it’s way too early to tell on 95% of the picks. Instead, this will be examining drafts from 2011 to 2015.

Los Angeles Kings

2011 NHL Entry Draft

Round 1 – Pick was traded to Edmonton for Dustin Penner. The pick turned into Oscar Klefbom, who has become a great two-way defender in today’s NHL. Meanwhile, Penner retired after the 2013-2014 season.

Round 2 – Christopher Gibson (G) 49th overall – Gibson never signed in LA, and went onto to Toronto where he was traded in a big package to bring in Michael Grabner. He hasn’t grown into an NHL player, seeing action in only 4 games since being drafted 6 years ago. Big miss by LA, to not even have the player since with you, let alone not develop into an NHL player.

Round 3 – Andy Andreoff (LW) 80th overall – Andreoff has played a bottom-6 role for the Kings the past 2 seasons, taking the role of tough-guy on the team. He provides no offensive support for the team, but being picked in the third round and playing in over 100 games is a decent pick by the Kings.

Round 3 – Nick Shore (F) 82nd overall – They received this pick in dealing out a 6th rounder, plus the pick used on Jimmy Vesey. Shore has also played in over 100 games, but again provides almost no offensive upside (34 points in 172 games). Still, playing in over 100 games for a 3rd round pick isn’t the worst selection.

2012 NHL Entry Draft

Round 1 – Tanner Pearson (LW) 30th overall – Pearson has developed into a good player for the Kings, taken with the last pick of the first round in 2012. In 80 games this year, he broke out for 24 goals and 44 points. He’s already played in over 200 games, and the 5 players taken immediately after him have played in zero. Great pick here by the Kings after winning the Cup.

Round 2 – Pick was traded to Philadelphia with Wayne Simmonds for Mike Richards. The trade looked OK at the time, but looking back now it was brutal. Richards is no longer in the NHL, and Simmonds has scored 120 goals in the last 4 seasons for the Flyers.

Round 3 – Pick was traded to Edmonton, along with their 2011 first round pick for Dustin Penner. Baaaaad trade again by the Kings, as Penner was awful when coming over to LA.

2013 NHL Entry Draft

Round 1 – Pick was traded to Columbus with Jack Johnson for Jeff Carter. I’d consider this a good trade for both sides, as Carter wanted out of Columbus, and they managed to get Jack Johnson out of it plus the pick. Carter has scored 137 goals in 361 games since coming over, and has hit 50 points in each season.

Round 2 – Valentin Zykov (LW) 37th overall – I, like many others, expected big things out of Zykov. He dominated in junior, and flopped hard after being drafted. He made his NHL debut this year, for Carolina, playing in 2 (!!) games. In 66 AHL games, he scored only 34 points. Safe to say the Kings were disappointed with this selection, as he never played a game for them.

Round 3 – Pick was traded with their original 2nd round pick to move up and take Zykov. I’ll consider this a bad trade, as Zykov did not pan out, and the Oilers took Anton Slepyshev with this pick and he looks to be better than Zykov at this point.

2014 NHL Entry Draft

Round 1 – Adrian Kempe (LW) 29th overall – Kempe made his NHL debut this year, playing in 25 games and scoring 6 points. He’s never put up big offensive numbers, and looks as though he will not make an impact at the NHL level. Another miss by the Kings, who have traded away more picks than any other team in recent years.

Round 2 – Roland McKeown (D) 50th overall – Traded Lined Vey to Vancouver to get this pick. McKeown has yet to play an NHL game, and is likely a year or more away from a shot to play one. Vey has played in 138 NHL games meanwhile, and the Kings then traded McKeown plus a 1st round pick in 2016 (Julien Gauthier) to Carolina for Andrej Sekera. Sekera played in a whopping 16 games for LA before leaving as a free agent. Two bad trades by LA involved with this pick.

Round 2 – Alex Lintuniemi (D) 60th overall – Another player who has yet to play a game for the Kings, therefore I’ll say another miss. He’s still young, but played most of this year in the ECHL. That’s not a good sign.

Round 3 – Mike Amadio (C) 90th overall – Amadio had a great rookie year in the AHL, scoring 41 points in 68 games. He’s grown his offensive game since being drafted, and could challenge for a spot in the next couple of years with LA likely to go through some changes. Good find at the end of the 3rd round by the Kings.

2015 NHL Entry Draft

Round 1 – Pick was traded along with Martin Jones, and Colin Miller to Boston for Milan Lucic. The pick was used on Jakub Zboril, who hasn’t made the jump to pro hockey yet, but man did they ever give up a lot to get Lucic, who played one year before leaving for Edmonton in free agency. Meanwhile, Jones is the starter in San Jose and Miller played his second season for Boston this year. Bad, bad trade by the Kings.

Round 2 – Erik Cernak (D) 43rd overall – Cernak finished his junior career this year, with 21 points in 50 games. Not great numbers, but he projects as a defense-first player. He’ll need some seasoning, and will likely go through some bumps playing against men, however is a big kid at 6’3” and over 220 pounds.

Round 3 – Alexander Dergachyov (C) 74th overall – Another miss by the Kings. He played in 31 KHL games, adding only 3 assists and no goals. We’ll likely never see him over in North America.

The Kings have traded away more picks than anyone in these 5 years, and with winning 2 Cups they’ve picked near the bottom. That being said, their choices have been poor to say the least. The trades they’ve made have turned out bad almost in every case, and have found only 1 true impact player out of these 5 drafts in Tanner Pearson. That is awful.

Sources: www.hockeydb.com ; http://www.prosportstransactions.com/hockey/DraftTrades/Years/index.htm