Photo courtesy of Matt Wagner (SB Nation)
...Wait, the draft? Already? Yes!
It's been a short summer, hasn't it, folks? Tonight at JFTC we'll be covering the first round, where the Kings may or may not have the very last pick. Columbus has the option to take our first round pick either this year or next as part of the Carter/Johnson trade. If they choose to select tonight, they must inform the Kings after pick #27 but before pick #28. It's been widely speculated that they'll take their chances with next year's pick, as they don't get lower than this. (Let's pause for a moment to chortle with glee.)
Besides the draft pick drama, there's always a chance that we could see some minor or even seismic trades this weekend. The Kings may look to move some prospects and acquire a few more picks. Nash might be traded. Bobby Ryan might be on the block. The Flyers could do something out of left field. The Oilers may be idiotic enough to trade down. We'll have see what other rival teams do in order to come gunning for the champs.
Let's not forget that tonight is going to be a great night to savor all the congratulations the other teams will be sending LA's way. It's a new feeling for us--and it's great.
After the jump, we'll have some links to mock drafts, best players likely available at #30, more.
- Which prospects are likely available at #30? Mock drafts vary wildly at this point. It seems like no two lists are the same. Many highly-ranked players could fall.
- Despite the uncertainty, this roundup of players who have been ranked in the top 30 is a fine summary of likely targets. (Slepyshev is in there, too.) ["Late 1st Rounders And Longshots" - Globe and Mail]
- Another good resource: profiles by The Scouting Report.
- Some names I'm watching: Bozon, Samuelsson, DiGuiseppe, Matteau, Bystrom, Matheson, Thrower, Zharkov, Hertl.
- Will Bernier be moved? Most signs point to no. Lombardi would like to hang onto him until Quick is signed. Beyond that, there's no downside to having a another year of this quality, low-cost goalie tandem. Last year, Colorado had interest and moved to Varlamov. This year, Tampa Bay had interest and moved to Lindback. Bobrovsky was just traded to Columbus. I think he's staying put.
- What about other prospects? Hmm...
- Key question of the night, if the Kings keep their pick: do they finally take a forward again in the first round, or will they strictly go for the Best Player Available? Odds are any prospect taken tonight would be at least 2-3 years away from contributing at the NHL level. A goalie or a defenseman isn't out of the question.