LA Kings Draft: Reports indicate Kings are leaning towards Tim Stutzle

The Athletic’s recent seven-round mock draft indicated that team sources believe the LA Kings are leaning towards taking Tim Stutzle.

We are just days away from the 2020 NHL Draft, where the LA Kings hold the second overall pick on Day 1. The Athletic published its seven-round mock draft, going with Adler Mannheim’s Tim Stutzle at number two. Corey Pronman wrote the piece and indicated that team sources around the league believe the Kings are 65-to-35 split toward taking Stutzle over Quinton Byfield.

He also left his thoughts on the pick somewhat vague, indicating that many people in the NHL believe that Stutzle is the better player while other people think that Byfield is better. Well, yeah?

I, for one, will be happy just to have this debate over and having finality to the selection. Either way, the Kings are going to come away with a terrific talent.

True number one centers like Byfield doesn’t come along very often, but Stutzle plays in a league with grown men. We discussed this on Wednesday that the OHL generally has better talent than the DEL, Stutzle’s league. The latter has older gentlemen playing because it’s the only league they could find playing time. And I don’t mean any disrespect to those guys, but it’s just the way it is.

Ottawa Senators chief amateur scout Trent Mann was among those that publicly stated that he believes the German winger is more NHL ready than his Sudbury counterpart. The Kings have a number of centers already in their prospect pool with the likes of Vilardi, Turcotte, Madden, and Kupari. Not to mention that Blake Lizotte‘s unexpected emergence last year could potentially sway the decision to add a talented winger like Stutzle.

I’m just trying to look at this objectively, even though my preferred choice is Byfield.

Here’s how the rest of Pronman’s mock draft played out:

  • Second round, 35th overall: Helge Gran, D
  • Second round, 51st overall: Maxim Groshev, RW
  • Second round, 60th overall: Roni Hirvonen, C
  • Third round, 66th overall: Luke Evangelista, RW
  • Third round, 83rd overall: William Villeneuve, D
  • Fourth round, 97th overall: Tristen Robins, RW
  • Fourth round, 112th overall: Samuel Hlavaj, G
  • Fifth round, 128th overall: Ben Meehan, D
  • Sixth round, 159th overall: Josh Pillar, C
  • Seventh round, 190th overall: Senna Peeters, RW

Stutzle has been compared to Hall of Fame forward Peter Forsberg and current Chicago Blackhawks winger Patrick Kane.