With the exception of the trade fiasco with Ryan Smyth, draft day for the Los Angeles Kings was relatively quiet. They made one small trade to move back into the third round (#82), but it required no player movement, and was frankly not all that interesting. So let’s take a brief look at the players the Kings selected, with knowledge that we’ll be doing a move in-depth look at the players in the coming days.
2nd Round (#49) – Goaltender Chris Gibson – Chicoutimi (QMJHL)
3rd Round (#80) – Center Andy Andreoff – Oshawa (OHL)
3rd Round (#82) – Center Nick Shore – University of Denver
4th Round (#110) – Left Wing Michael Mersch – University of Wisconsin
5th Round (#140) – Left Wing Joel Lowry – Victoria (BCHL)
7th Round (#200) – Left Wing Michael Schumacher – Frolunda HC (Sweden)
A few notes on the selections:
- Initially I was a bit surprised that there wasn’t a single defenseman selected, especially considering Lombardi’s emphasis on the back line. Obviously (and thankfully) he uses the “best player” philosophy, but by the time you get to the #200 pick, my guess is there are a few players that could be interchanged. Why no defensemen?
- If you needed more proof that Lombardi uses “best player” as his philosophy, look at the first pick of the draft. A goaltender? The last thing the Kings need right now is a goaltender. He looks to be a talented pick, even if it doesn’t fit an immediate need.
- Goaltenders out of the QMJHL are an interesting breed. Keep in mind when following his progress, his numbers will always look a bit higher, but if nothing else, you can be quite sure he’s getting plenty of exposure to the puck.
- I always imagine what happens in the draft room after selections, and in this case I wonder if the lack of depth in the system at LW played a role in selecting three wingers in the last three rounds.
- I like the mid-level selections of college players, since it gives the Kings a bit more time to retain their rights, and let them develop. As we all know, mid/late round picks may develop into talents, but more often than not they take a bit more time. NCAA gives them that extra time and may be the difference between having them develop for the Kings, or another organization.