Mark Yannetti on Zykov, size - LA Kings Insider

In preparation for an feature I’m writing today, I withheld several quotes from Kings Director of Amateur Scouting Mark Yannetti on Valentin Zykov’s personality, which we caught a glimpse of during the draft on Sunday.

Until that feature goes live tomorrow, here are several Yannetti observations on Zykov, and what needs to accompany “size” for players to find success in the National Hockey League.

On Valentin Zykov complementing size with the ability to work in tough areas of the ice:
“You said it perfectly there. I mean, he’s talented. He got 40 goals as a first-year player in the Quebec League coming from another culture. He can shoot, he can skate, he’s got skill, and as you said, he’s not afraid to be to a puck first. And he’s smart enough to get to a puck second without making it look like he’s getting to a puck second, and he never does it. So there were a couple games where the offense wasn’t going for him, and he found other ways to contribute and other ways to help the team. We often talk about players with a back-up game. His primary game, obviously, we hope, is as an F-6. But, if for some reason he doesn’t somehow measure up to his full potential, you have a valuable player in terms of an F-7 to an F-9. I mean, he’s got attributes that if his primary game becomes secondary, these are attributes that help us win.”

On whether the team attempts to draft for “size”, or simply selects the best player available:
“Listen, we all want big guys. But I think – and I think it has been a trend in the NHL – that size for size sake, I think is a huge mistake. I think a lot of times when the scouting community, myself, our staff included, can get enamored for size for size sake, and I thnk you have to be real careful with that because as we’ve seen in the past big teams don’t necessarily win. But heavy teams win. We don’t have a whole lot of big players on our team that are filler. They play hard. They contribute. They protect the puck. Everyone on our team protects the puck. Everyone on our team has ability. (Justin) Auger, in that vein, isn’t close to where he needs to be yet. But he shows the flashes and the ability and the will to use those things to play, which at 6-foot-6 now will allow him to develop into the kind of player where his size is not the only thing you’re looking at. Right now it’s the main attribute.”

Rules for Blog Commenting
  • - No profanity, slurs or other offensive language. Replacing letters with symbols does not turn expletives into non-expletives.
  • - Personal attacks against other blog commenters, and/or blatant attempts to antagonize other commenters, are not tolerated. Respectful disagreement is encouraged. Posts that continually express the same singular opinion will be deleted.
  • - Comments that incite political, religious or similar debates will be deleted.
  • - Please do not discuss, or post links to, websites that illegally stream NHL games.
  • - Posting under multiple user names is not allowed. Do not type in all caps. All violations are subject to comment deletion and/or banning of commenters, per the discretion of the blog administrator.
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.