With the 2021 NHL Entry Draft coming up, let’s look back at the best LA Kings drafts since 2000.
The NHL draft – a time of hope for both young players and the teams that draft them. For most players, this is the first step toward what they hope will fulfill the dream of playing in the National Hockey League. For the teams, they hope the players they draft now will eventually deliver hockeys most cherished prize, the Stanley Cup.
This year’s NHL draft will take place on July 23rd and July 24th. The event will be held virtually, with the order to be determined by first the Draft Lottery to be held on June 2nd, and the rest after the playoffs.
Preparation for each year’s draft begins as soon as the previous draft ends. Hundreds, if not thousands of players are evaluated by each team’s scouting department, trying to find the best fits for their team or a “diamond in the rough.”
Put together some strong drafts, and a team’s future looks very bright. Conversely, string together some poor drafts, and a franchise could easily find themselves behind the eight ball.
The LA Kings have experienced both the highs of great drafts and the lows of terrible ones in the twenty-first century. Fortunately, the team’s recent drafts have been applauded by most analysts and have led to the Kings have one of the best prospect pools in the NHL.
The main criteria used for this list were that the player had to be drafted by the Kings and made a significant contribution to the team.
For example, Erik Cernak was drafted by the LA Kings in the second round of the 2015 draft but was traded to the Tampa Bay Lightning before becoming a regular with the Kings, therefore lowering the impact of the Kings 2015 draft class.
With that said, what were the best draft years for the LA Kings in the twenty-first century?