The 2013 NHL Entry Draft is set to kick off in just over a day. There will be an unmeasurable amount of talent and players that will take the next step in their hockey careers.After a long process that included the combine and coutnless interviews, NHL teams will decide who they select to become a part of their organization.
Included in that decision-making will be the Kings. However, the Kings will have to take a much different route than most teams at this year’s draft. Unless something changes before or during the draft, the Kings will have to wait and wait for quite some time, because their first pick does not come until the second round at number 57 overall.
However, once the Kings get out of the first round they have an abundance of picks. The Kings have one selection in both the second and third round, three in the fourth round, two in the fifth, one in the sixth and two in the seventh, giving the Kings a total of ten selections during this year’s draft. That is a boatload of picks and tied for the most in the league this year.
Below is a breakdown of the Kings’ selections.
|4||96th (acquired from Carolina)|
|4||103rd (acquired from Philadelphia)|
|5||146th (acquired from Montreal)|
|7||191st (acquired from Dallas)|
Since the Kings do not have a pick until two rounds are almost completely done it is pretty much impossible to try to guess who or what position they will target when it comes time to choose. So much can happen between the number one and the number 56 pick it would be ridiculous to post countless profiles of who we think the Kings will draft like so many other team specific sites have done. It is simply impossible to even make an educated guess at this point as to what the Kings will do with their first pick.
However, we can go over a few things that I hope the Kings have accomplished once that final pick is announced tomorrow.
1. Try and get into the first round.
I doubt the likelihood of this happening is very high and I don’t really see the Kings feeling the need to get into the first round. But, there is some top-level talent in this year’s draft and there are several teams that have multiple picks in the first round that might be okay with moving one of their selections. This would likely cost the Kings an NHL ready player or prospect along with one of their picks, which may be the reason the Kings stray away from this route.
2. Draft a goalie.
When it comes to the Kings’ pool of prospects it is no secret that between the pipes there is a bit of a hole after we get out of the NHL. Even though Quick will be the Kings’ guy for quite some time, it is always a good idea to keep your crease protected. Since the Kings did not offer their top pick of the 2011 draft, Christopher Gibson a new contract that leaves a spot for a goalie to move right into. I would think the Kings look to grab a goalie with their third or fourth pick come Sunday.
3. Move up in the second round.
If things stay the way they are, Dean Lombardi and the Kings will have to wait some time before they get a chance to head up to the podium and make a selection. Since the Kings have a ton of picks it would not be hard for Lombardi to package that number 57 pick and another pick in say the third round in order to move up to say about the middle of the second round. If the Kings see a guy they want they should not be afraid of using some of that flexibility that comes with all of those picks in the middle of the draft in order to move in and grab him when possible.
4. Continue the success with depth picks.
The Kings have plenty of picks deep in the draft, this has been an area of success for the Kings in recent years. Jonathan Quick, Alec Martinez, Wayne Simmonds, and Slava Voynov were all selected outside of the first round, Quick and Martinez were selected in the third and fourth round respectively. This success late in the draft will have to continue and with five picks coming between the second and fourth round there is plenty of opportunity to continue that trend.
5. Draft for the future.
The Kings have a set roster, and a deep prospect pool waiting for a chance with the big club. So it is no secret that the players drafted this year will likely not be making a trip up to the big club for some time. It is pretty obvious, thinking about the future when you are at the draft, but the Kings shouldn’t be afraid of grabbing that player that may take a little longer to fully develop because they will have time to allow that to happen. They do not need guys that can be NHL ready in a year or two, if they get someone that is good, but it should not be a deal breaker at this point.