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