Ron Hextall on the draft, free agents + video - LA Kings Insider

On the process of trading up to draft Valentin Zykov:
“Whenever you offer up three picks, you really want a guy, and our guys really wanted him. They’re banging on the table, and that’s exactly when sometimes quality is better than quantity, and as much as we liked the picks that we gave up, our guys really were banging on the table, and you’ve got to listen to your guys. That’s why you have them.”

On whether teams’ hesitation to draft Russians factored into Zykov’s availability at 37:
“I think it’s probably the Russian factor. The kid walks around our table, he speaks English. He played in the Quebec league. It’s different when you know a kid’s committed to playing over in North America. Obviously he wants to play in the National Hockey League as opposed to playing over there. The kid’s playing here right now essentially for nothing, so you know he wants to play in North America. That goes a long way with us. I mean, we don’t care if they’re Russian, Finns, Swedes, Canadians, American. We care about the character, and all the checks our guy did on this kid, he’s got a lot of character.”

On drafting power forwards that play “heavy” and fit the team’s identity:
“Well, that is the style that we have as a team. That’s what our coach prefers, and quite honestly, that’s what Dean and I prefer. You always go off your leader, and that’s the way Dean wants to build the team, so you’ve got to stick by it. Bob Clarke used to always say, ‘If you draft small, you get small,’ and small teams aren’t doing well in the league right now.”

On Hudson Fasching:
“He’s still a young kid. There’s a lesson right now in development camp and then moving on and training the right way, getting stronger, learning to be a pro. Nelson Emerson, Mike O’Connell, just expediting the process of becoming a pro and training the right way, preparing the right way. There’s a lot to learn still for these kids.”

On Jared Auger:
“Again, I think his skating needs to improve, but he’s a huge guy and we’re excited about that. A lot of times the bigger guys, they take a little bit longer. You’ve got to afford them and give the time like we’ve done with a lot of our kids in Manchester in developing them the right way. You’ve got to be patient with the bigger guys.”

On if he has an update on Rob Scuderi’s contract negotiations:
“We’re still working on it, and we hope to get it done. In terms of the timeline, no.”

On the team’s restricted free agents:
“We’ve been kind of putting all the projections together. It’s hard because of the way the cap is this year. We’re trying to fit everybody in. We’re not doing a whole bunch of pieces at the same time. We have a range for all our guys, and we plugged it in our projections and then start with one guy and then kind of move down the list. But the restricted guys, Solly’s (Jeff Solomon) done a lot of the prep work, the homework and had a couple of initial conversations with a couple of them.”

-courtesy KingsVision

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Adrian Kempe

#9 | 6′ 2″ | 195 lb | Age: 21

Born: September 13, 1996
Birthplace: Kramfors, SWE
Position: LW
Handedness: Left


Kempe was selected by the Kings in the first round (29th overall) in the 2014 NHL Draft.

Alex Iafallo

#19 | 6′ | 185 lb | Age: 23

Born: December 21, 1993
Birthplace: Eden, NY, USA
Position: C
Handedness: Left


Iafallo was signed by the Kings as an unrestricted free agent on April 18, 2017.

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.

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.