The best LA Kings draft classes of this century

LA Kings (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
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The 2005 draft

The 2003 draft brought the LA Kings Dustin Brown, and the 2008 draft brought them Drew Doughty, but it was the 2005 draft that completed the foundation of the teams that would win the first Stanley Cups in the team’s history.

Current Kings captain Anze Kopitar was selected by the team with the number eleven pick in the first round. The thirty-three-year-old native of Slovenia has become one of the greatest centers in LA Kings history – right up there with Marcel Dionne and Wayne Gretzky. Consider Kopitar’s list of career achievements:

  • Two-time Stanley Cup Champion.
  • Two-time Selke Trophy winner as the NHL’s best defensive forward.
  • Winner of the 2016 Lady Byng Trophy for gentlemanly play.
  • Five-time NHL All-Star.
  • He finished third in the voting for the 2018 Hart Trophy as the NHL’s MVP.

Kopitar has three seasons remaining on his contract, so he will be around to usher in the next wave of Kings prospects. If they turn out anything like him, the franchise will set down the middle for a long time.

Every championship team needs great goaltending. In the third round of the 2005 draft, the LA Kings picked the man who would provide that for them when they selected Jonathan Quick. Considered to be one of the best American-born goaltenders of all time, Quick backstopped the Kings to both of their Stanley Cup wins and was named the Conn Smythe Trophy winner as the playoff MVP in 2012.

Although known more for his playoff heroics than his regular season play, Quick has still won the William Jennings Trophy, given to the goaltender who has given up the fewest goals in the regular season on two occasions. His 54 shutouts place him fourth among all active goaltenders in that category, and his 336 wins are sixth among all active goalies. The only goaltender in LA Kings history to have the kind of impact Quick has had is the great Rogie Vachon.

Please note, this list of drafts is not ranked. We’ll let you, the reader, decide that. Let us know what you think!