The 2008 draft
The 2008 draft would be instrumental in setting the LA Kings on the path to becoming two-time Stanley Cup Champions. It is sandwiched between two other very important drafts – as 2007 produced Wayne Simmonds, Alec Martinez, and Dwight King (along with his smile), while 2009 gave the Kings Brayden Schenn, Kyle Clifford, and Jordan Nolan.
Simmonds and Schenn would not make a big on-ice impact in Los Angeles, but they were packaged in a trade for Mike Richards – whom, as Kings fans know, had a huge impact on the team.
What sets the 2008 draft apart from the 2007 and 2009 drafts, however, is the LA Kings selected the greatest defenseman in franchise history with the number two overall pick in Drew Doughty. Having just completed his thirteenth NHL season, Doughty made the Kings roster as a rookie and has been a major part of the team ever since.
The London, Ontario native was a key cog of the Stanley Cup championship teams, has won two Olympic Gold Medals, is a four-time NHL All-Star, and won the Norris Trophy in 2016 as the NHL’s best defenseman.
Now 31 years old, Drew Doughty is one of the faces of the LA Kings franchise. With six seasons remaining on his contract, Doughty should remain a fixture on the team for the foreseeable future.
In the second round of the 2008 draft, the Kings would select another defenseman. This time it was Russian-born Viacheslav “Slava” Voynov. Unlike Doughty, Voynov did not jump right to the NHL after being drafted. Instead, he played for the Kings AHL affiliate, the Manchester Monarchs, for three full seasons before being called up to Los Angeles early in the 2011-12 season.
Once in LA, he stayed and became a solid addition to the Kings defense corps. Voynov was a member of both Stanley Cup-winning teams.
Shortly into the 2014-15 season, Voynov committed a reprehensible act of domestic violence against his wife, which would cost him his career in the NHL. He returned to Russia and left a gaping hole in the Kings defense, which the team would have a tough time filling.
A third pick from their 2008 draft class would also play for the LA Kings. Forward Andrei Loktionov was selected in the fifth round, and while certainly not as high profile as Doughty or even Voynov, Loktionov did play parts of three seasons for the Kings.
His peak was the 2011-12 season when he played 39 regular-season games and two playoff games as a member of the 2012 championship team. He was traded to the New Jersey Devils the following season.