This time of the year there are always discussions and debates about where the top undrafted college hockey players are going to end up. We’ve seen these discussions extensively, and for quite a while the Kings have been a major player in the discussions. While it’s likely that Lombardi reached out to Da Costa, the Kings are in a place where they just can’t compete with some of the other teams in respect to what they can offer.
And frankly, that’s a good thing. Not a good thing in the classic sense, certainly signing a player like Da Costa would be an asset. He lead the Merrimack College Warriors in scoring for the past two seasons, netting 14 goals and 31 assists in 33 games this season. It’s a respectable clip, and he projects to be a realistic NHL-level player sooner rather than later. However it is a good thing because of what most of these players are looking for. Many of them are able to select a team that will provide immediate playing time, in addition to a good salary. That tends to leave out some of the better teams in the league, because they typically don’t have the ability to insert an unproven commodity directly into their lineup.
That’s why Da Costa ended up signing with Ottawa. Not only is he able to get a rock solid salary, but let’s be honest. The Senators suck. They’re terrible. Why WOULDN’T they let a college player immediately insert himself into the starting lineup? It’s not like it could possibly hurt their chances… In that respect, when the Kings are unable to lock up nearly all the youngsters coming out of college, it can only be viewed as a good thing. It means we’re on our way up. Now… looking ahead to the Canucks, Let’s go Kings!