Whew, what a day! The second round, which typically takes only a few hours to complete, took an astonishing eight-plus hours to wrap up. But in that time, the Los Angeles Kings, holding nine draft picks, selected eight young men from four different countries (USA, Finland, Sweden, Slovakia).
James Nicholson and Sarah Avampato join me once again to discuss LA’s shiny new boys and grade the draft. We also talk about what a potential coup it could be if Lias Andersson pans out. Rob Blake flipped the 60th overall pick for the former seventh overall New York Rangers centerman, who has had some notable issues, leaving the Rangers in order to deal with his mental health. But, if he can live up to his draft pedigree whenever he eventually joins the Kings, Blake could look like a genius. This leads us to a discussion about Todd McLellan and his development of young players as compared to Alain Vigneault. (Note: I realize now that the head coach of the Rangers is actually David Quinn as AV is now coaching the Philadelphia Flyers, but my brain keeps thinking he’s still in New York.)
We also talk extensively about Brock Faber and Helge Grans, two very different defensemen who play very distinct styles, but seem like they could fit in very well with the Kings’ organization. Listen out for James’ hot take on who Byfield actually reminds him of. Scouts said Byfield is Anze Kopitar 2.0, but there’s a certain other large center playing for a rival California team that James thinks he’s more like.
Lastly, we grade the overall draft and briefly discuss some of the highlights of the day (including an angry Craig Button, the Toronto Maple Leafs’ strange announcement from Day 1, and some of the curious moves the Nashville Predators made).
Barring any radical moves the Kings make on Friday during Free Agent Frenzy, this will be the last podcast for the 2019-20 season. I will be back once hockey returns.
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