On evaluating "character" as part of an overall package - LA Kings Insider

The Kings graded quite well in “intangibles” during the playoff run. For the lack of better terms, “character,” “will,” and “desire” became incalculable but surely present assets that may have guided the team to victory to a greater degree than their opponents. For a team with excellent leadership, and from the expectations set within the dressing room, do those same values trickle down to scouting and drafting? Does Los Angeles look for a certain type of player, or are they simply picking the best player available?

Simply put, how do the Kings evaluate character as part of an overall package?

Vice President of Hockey Operations and Director of Player Personnel Michael Futa:
Very few kids do we look at and say, ‘We can’t get to them.’ As Dean says, ‘You don’t win with choir boys.’ All these kids have spots. All of us have spots. As a kid, you look at our established winning culture – and you’ve got to be careful, because some of these kids aren’t going to be ready for this culture for a few years. But there aren’t too many kids that you look at and say, ‘They go into that room, all their problems are going to work themselves out with the leadership we have.’ Like, forget the guys who wear the C’s and A’s on top of that. The depth of leadership that we have that you can play. And no offense, forget the draft. We did it with Marian Gaborik. You don’t really know him, so you’re trying to put together all the stories, all the rumors, ‘Why did this happen?’ ‘Why did this happen?’ ‘Why had he not lasted here?’ ‘Why is he not here?’ Hey, if we put him in this dressing room, how’s he going to be with this group? Look what happened. Nobody’s talking about Marian Gaborik. You start to wonder yourself, where did all these stories come from? Hey, obviously we’ve got a few more years left of him now to find out if we had a small snapshot. But this guy fit in with this group, and he said, he looks around in here, like, ‘Why would you not? These guys just have each other’s backs. There’s such a core of leadership. There’s an expectation.’ Those who don’t conform get weeded out in a hurry. You stand out like a sore thumb if you don’t blend in or you don’t conform. It’s not about an individual. It’s about being a King. It’s about Darryl, and it’s about not having an ego.

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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.