June 22, 2012 9:32 am

Feeling a draft (day)

As the shortest summer ever marches on, the start of the NHL Draft is only a few hours away. The first round will be held tonight in Pittsburgh, with coverage on NBC Sports Network starting at 4 p.m. Pacific time. The Kings hold the 30th and final pick of the first round, although the Columbus Blue Jackets have the option to take that pick, as part of the Jeff Carter trade. They can wait until the 28th pick to make their decision. If they don’t take the Kings’ pick this year, they will get the Kings’ 2013 first-round pick.

The draft floor is set up with 30 tables, one for each team, and the tables are situated in draft order. So the Kings, as the Stanley Cup champions, will be far, far away from the stage, just where every team wants to be. And, per tradition, before every first-round pick is made, each team will congratulate the Kings as champions, some (Philadelphia, Edmonton, Phoenix, New Jersey) perhaps through more gritted teeth than others.

As for Saturday’s resumption of the draft, the Kings, at this moment, do not have a second- or third-round pick. They have one in the fourth round (No. 121), one in the fifth round (No. 151), two in the sixth round (No. 171 and No. 181) and two in the seventh round (No. 183 and No. 211).

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