LA Kings: Mark Yannetti targeting scoring in second round

(Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
(Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /

Different from years’ past, LA Kings Director of Amateur Scouting Mark Yannetti indicated that the organization would be targeting scoring in the second round.

It’s no secret that the LA Kings struggled to score last season. They finished with the second-fewest goals (177) but well ahead of the lowly Red Wings (142). If not for a somewhat competent defensive unit, the Kings would have been downright unwatchable. But as the team moves forward, they are reportedly going to select Quinton Byfield with the second overall pick on Tuesday night.

He’s a big-bodied forward with speed and quick hands, who put up a bunch of points in the OHL last year. Add to that the addition of Arthur Kaliyev in last year’s draft, and the Kings could be a juggernaut in just a couple of seasons when the rest of their prospect pool arrives. But Director of Amateur Scouting Mark Yannetti shed some light on the most recent Kings of the Podcast episode.

He indicated that the Kings would be targeting scoring in the second round beyond Byfield, especially with the 35th overall pick, which has been a different approach than the previous regime.

“Now with Rob (Blake), he wants the team to play in a different way,” Yannetti said. “And scoring is obviously more important to us now than it was. I certainly think, in a perfect world, we need to pick up scoring in the second round. But that being said, we can’t overlook certain deficiencies to get scoring and can’t skip certain players to get to scoring.

I certainly look at this year’s draft, and I see our picks, and I see guys that can score in areas I think our picks are going to be at 35, at 51, and 60. I think there’s scoring available. Less so than 60, but certainly at 35 and slightly less-so at 51.”

The Kings acquired Olli Maatta on Sunday to help shore up the blue line. Still, it’s believed that the organization is going stock up on defenders in the 2020 NHL Draft after collecting a talented group of high-end forwards. But some great offensive threats could be available with the 35th overall pick that would be difficult to pass on.

Tyson Foerster has been a guy that I’ve taken a liking to. He’s consistently been mocked in the late first or early second round, which would align with the Kings’ 35th overall pick. The Alliston, Ontario native is a point-producing machine, having scored 36 goals with 44 assists for 80 points for the Barrie Colts of the OHL last year.

Other players that could be considered include Sam Colangelo, who scored 58 points (28G, 30A) in 44 games in the USHL last year. The right-winger stands at 6-foot-2, 207 pounds and is ranked as the 41st best prospect in the draft, according to TSN’s Bob McKenzie.

Of course, the Kings could select defenseman Jeremie Poirier, who is a power play monster. His draft stock has taken a hit because of his propensity to overcommit himself to the offensive zone, but Poirier scored 20 goals with 33 assists, including 5 goals on the man advantage last year. Through the first two games of the QMJHL this season, Poirier already has 4 points and is shooting the puck at a 10.0 percent clip.

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It’ll be interesting to see how it unfolds, but there are several good options for the Kings to improve their already fruitful prospect pool.