Kings 2013 NHL Entry Draft Preview

The Kings are without a 1st round pick for 2nd time over the last 3 years. They are without their top pick this year as a result of sending this year's pick over to Columbus in the Jeff Carter deal (I doubt many tears are being spilled over this given how that trade has worked out). That being said, reports were that GM Dean Lombardi had pushed hard to get a 1st in return for Jonathan Bernier. He was unable to make that happen, but the Kings still have managed to stockpile several picks in this year's draft-- a grand total of 10.

Here's the list:

2, 57th
3, 88th
4, 96th (acquired from Carolina for Kevin Westgarth)
4, 103rd (acquired from Philadelphia for Simon Gagne)
4, 118th
5, 146th (acquired from Montreal for Davis Drewiske)
5, 148th
6, 178th
7, 191st (acquired from Dallas in a 2012 pick swap)
7, 208th

Positions of Need

It's pretty hard to say who'll be on the board by the time the Kings make their first pick toward the end of the second round. The last time the Kings were in this position they surprisingly took goaltender Christopher Gibson. That ended up being a bust as they announced recently they wouldn't be signing him.

Given that the Kings have acquired a solid and possible long term solution for a back-up in Ben Scrivens to go along with prospects Martin Jones and J.F. Berube (not to mention 10 more years worth of Jonathan Quick), it would seem that a goaltender would be a long-shot. As it should, since drafting goaltenders is (to put it mildly) a crap-shoot.

The Kings' organizational depth seems to be strongest on the back end with Drew Doughty and Slava Voynov recently signed to long term contracts, Jake Muzzin impressing in his rookie season and a slew of prospects coming through the pipeline. These prospects include former 15th pick Derek Forbert, Nicolas Deslauriers, Nick Ebert, Paul LaDue, Kevin Gravel and Colin Miller (who had an impressive final season with the Soo Greyhounds).

That brings us to forwards. This is where the team should focus on bringing some more depth into the system. Top prospect Tyler Toffoli is likely graduating to the big club after an impressive performance in the playoffs. Tanner Pearson who is probably the team's second best prospect isn't far behind. Nor is Linden Vey who put up some strong numbers in Manchester this season. After that there seems to be a pretty significant drop off. There are a couple of potential top 6 talents in Nikolai Prokhorkin and Maxim Kitsyn, but they are quite a ways off.

Given that there are a lot of teams who will be looking to improve their back-end, there could be a few steals available at forward by the time LA picks.

Potential Targets

Derek Zona from the great compiled a consensus list of the top 100 prospects. Let's see if we can spot any forwards in his rankings that might slip to the Kings at pick #57.

46. Ryan Fitzgerald, C, 5'9, 168 - Valley (EJHL)

  • "He has plus puck skills, and he can make quality plays in tight, but his offensive imagination drives his value." - Corey Pronman
  • "A very responsible and sound defensive player, he owns very good playmaking ability as well, making him a viable two-way player." - Future Considerations

47. Hudson Fasching, RW, 6'3, 208 - U-18 (USHL)

  • "Fasching takes the puck to the net, and can score goals in tight, or via a good wrist shot and snap shot with a quick release. He gets to the front of the net, where he uses his big body to establish position, and his soft hands to bang in rebounds or make deflections." - Last Word on Sports
  • "On top of using his size, Fasching showed above average puck skills in possessing the puck and getting around defenders to give himself a shot on goal or make a good feed." - The Hockey Writers /

51. Pavel Buchnevich, LW, 6, 165 - Severstal (KHL)

  • "He has high-end puck possession skills, with top-of-the-line hands and hockey sense." - Corey Pronman
  • "A smooth skater who is deceptively quick with his soft hands which allow him to get loose and/or set up linemates. Fearless in traffic and is great in one-on-one. A strong forechecker." -Draft Site /

53. Jimmy Lodge, RW, 6'2, 165 - Sagunaw (OHL)

  • "He really improved his playmaking game this year as he gained more confidence and poise with the puck, slowing things down and waiting for openings." -Last Word on Sports
  • "Lodge has excellent vision and a high hockey IQ which allows him to read defenses and react accordingly at a fast pace." - The Hockey Guys /

54. Anthony Duclair, LW, 6, 160 - Quebec (QMJHL)

  • "Duclair is a dynamic, exciting player, with high-end skating, if not better. He can be fun to observe because of his great speed, easily turning on the jets and putting defenders on their heels. Combining that skating ability with his great puck skills gives him the flair to create scoring chances and goals out of nothing." - Corey Pronman /

55. Zack Nastasiuk, RW, 6'1, 190 - Owen Sound (OHL)

  • "Nastasiuk is an opportunistic scorer who gets to the right spots in the offensive zone. He’s not the fastest skater but uses his choppy stride to get to where he needs to be on the ice." - Future Considerations /

Your Thoughts

What area would you like the kings to focus on in the draft? Looking at Derek Zona's and Corey Pronman's rankings, are there any players you see that'd you'd want in an L.A. uniform?