LA Kings History: Twelve days of Christmas, number 8

LA Kings (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
LA Kings (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images) /

As part of the twelve days of Christmas, the LA Kings have a rich history pertaining to each number. Up next is number eight.

Drew Doughty, number eight

Undoubtedly, Drew Doughty‘s number eight will be retired into the rafters at the Staples Center after his playing days with the LA Kings are done. The former second overall pick of the 2008 NHL Draft is a two-time Stanley Cup Trophy winner, four-time All-Star, and the Norris Trophy winner in 15-16.

Certainly, Doughty’s play has dropped off the past two seasons, but his defensive partners’ quality dropped off when both Jake Muzzin and Alec Martinez were traded. The Kings acquired Olli Maatta from the Chicago Blackhawks this offseason to shore up the defensive unit’s first pairing.

The 26-year-old Finnish defenseman is no stranger to top pairings, having done so early on in his days with the Pittsburgh Penguins. He was limited to mostly second pairing in Chicago, with Duncan Keith dominating the top of the defense’s left side.

Doughty is three years removed from a 60-point season. He recently turned 31 and still has seven years left on his contract. While Maatta could be Seattle’s pick in the expansion draft, the Kings will have one season with the duo, hoping his play can help Doughty return to Norris Trophy form.

Jeff Carter scores with 0.8 seconds left in the first period of Game 3

The Jeff Carter trade was one of the biggest moves that propelled the LA Kings toward winning their first Stanley Cup title in franchise history in 2012. Trending towards another in 2014, Carter and the Kings led the Eastern Conference Champion New York Rangers two games to none.

With time winding down in the first period of Game 3, Justin Williams carried the puck through the neutral zone, dished the puck to Carter, who fired it past Henrik Lundqvist with 0.8 seconds left. Oddly enough, Carter’s goal gave the Kings their first lead in regulation since Game 6 of the Western Conference Finals.

The LA Kings have never picked eighth overall in the NHL Draft

In the Kings 50+ years of existence, they have had their fair share of top-ten picks, but they have never made a selection from the eighth overall spot in the draft order. More recently, and continuing with the theme, Los Angeles made eight selections on Day 2 of the 2020 NHL Draft.

The Kings entered this year’s draft with 11 picks, and while some were swapped out and/or traded to move up, Mark Yannetti and the scouting department came away with a great class. Here were the eight picks on Day 2.

Round 2, Pick 35: Helge Grans

I recently spoke with SHL scout/writer Sixten Funqvist regarding Grans being the last cut for Team Sweden’s World Juniors squad. I also asked him what he needs to work on to have longevity in the NHL.

"“Physicality, but that goes for most young players I think,” said Funqvist. “And with that, I think a lot will come. He’s an excellent offensive D-man, pouncing at exactly the right time. Also, for what it’s worth: I love watching him play. I really do. At times he looks like he´s been doing this forever.”"

Round 2, Pick 45: Brock Faber

Round 3, Pick 66: Kasper Simontaival

Round 3, Pick 83: Alex Laferriere

Round 4, Pick 112: Juho Markkanen

Round 5, Pick 128: Martin Chromiak

Round 5, Pick 140: Ben Meehan

Round 7, Pick 190: Aatu Jamsen