Mocking the draft - LA Kings Insider

As we know, the Kings have the 19th overall pick in the first round of the NHL Draft. Unlike the past few years, when it’s been relatively easy to pick a handful of first-round prospects who might end up as a King, this year it’s wide open. Conventional wisdom might be that the Kings will select a forward, given their need for 5-on-5 scoring, but remember also that the NHL is close to Major League Baseball than it is to the NBA or NFL in terms of draft-pick development. In the latter two leagues, it’s very common for a first-round pick to step in right away. In baseball and (to a lesser extent) hockey, a prospect might need a couple years to develop, by which time a team’s needs might have changed. That’s why, even though it’s a cliche, teams in the Kings’ position do often go with the “best player available.”

That said, a few pundits league-wide still try to take a crack at how the first round might play out. These mock drafts have a very low success rate — and that’s certainly no knock on those attempting to do them — but it can give you a general idea of where players might be slotted. So here’s a few mock drafts, with the player the Kings are projected to take… Quinton Howden, LW, Moose Jaw (WHL) (Mike Morreale): Austin Watson, LW, Peterborough (OHL) (Note: this draft is older, with the Kings slotted at No. 21 instead of No. 19. Nick Bjugstad and Brock Nelson would also theoretically be available) (Brad Holland): Howden (Note: same as above. Tyler Pitlick and Kirill Kabanov would also theoretically be available) (Shawn Roarke): Jeff Skinner, RW, Kitchener (OHL) (Note: same as above. John McFarland and Calvin Pickard would also theoretically be available) (Jen Raimondi): Watson. (Note: same as above. Pickard and Jonathan Merrill would also theoretically be available) (Adam Kimelman): Stanislav Galiev, RW, Saint John (QMJHL) (note: same as above. Dylan McIlrath and Jack Campbell would also theoretically be available) Watson.

As you can see, that’s six mock drafts and four different players, and of course that doesn’t take into account the possibility that the Kings might move up or down in the first round. Should be interesting…

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Jake Muzzin

#6 | 6′ 3″ | 216 lb | Age: 27

Born: Feb 21, 1989
Birthplace: Woodstock, ON, CAN
Position: D
Handedness: Left


Muzzin was drafted in 2007 by the Pittsburgh Penguins, before signing to the Kings in 2010. He has since become the first Woodstock, Ontario professional athlete to win a major sports trophy.

Anze Kopitar

#11 | 6′ 3″ | 224 lb | Age: 29

Born: August 24, 1987
Birthplace: Jesenice, SVN
Position: C
Handedness: Left


As the 11th overall pick in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft, Kopitar became the first Slovenian to play in the NHL. Kopitar has spent his entire NHL career with the Kings, and following the 2015–16 season, was named the Kings’ captain. Noted for both his offensive and defensive play, Kopitar was awarded the Frank J. Selke Trophy as the best defensive forward in the NHL in 2016.

Drew Doughty

#8 | 6′ 1″ | 195 lb | Age: 26

Born: December 8, 1989
Birthplace: London, ON, CAN
Position: D
Handedness: Right


Bio: Doughty is a Canadian defenceman who was selected second overall by the Kings in the 2008 Draft. Doughty made his NHL debut in 2008 as an 18-year-old and was named to the All-Rookie Team. He is a two-time Stanley Cup champion with the Kings, a two-time Olympic gold medallist with the Canadian national team, and a Norris Trophy finalist.

Tyler Toffoli

#73 | 6′ 1″ | 200 lb | Age: 24

Born: April 24, 1992
Birthplace: Scarborough, ON, CAN
Position: C
Handedness: Right


Toffoli is a Canadian professional ice hockey forward, drafted by the Kings in the second round of the 2010 Draft. Toffoli scored his first career NHL goal in his second game in a 4–0 victory over the Phoenix Coyotes in 2013. He was also named the 2012–13 AHL All-Rookie Team.

Jeff Carter

#77 | 6′ 4″ | 215 lb | Age: 31

Born: January 1, 1985
Birthplace: London, ON, CAN
Position: C
Handedness: Right


Carter began his hockey career playing in the Ontario Hockey League in Canada before joining the AHL and playing for the Philadelphia Flyers. He was then traded to the Colombus Blue jackets before joining the LA Kings in 2012, where he has since won two Stanley Cups with the Kings.

Jonathan Quick

#32 | 6′ 1″ | 218 lb | Age: 30

Born: January 21, 1986
Birthplace: Milford, CT, USA
Position: G
Handedness: Left


Bio: Quick is the current goaltender for the LA Kings and was selected by Los Angeles at the 2005 NHL Entry Draft. Previously, Quick was a silver medalist with USA at the 2010 Winter Olympics. He’s won two Stanley Cup championships with the Kings, along with being the most recent goaltender to be awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy as the Most Valuable Player (MVP) of the 2012 Stanley Cup playoffs.