In every draft under Dean Lombardi, the Kings have either traded out or received selections in efforts to move up or down in the draft or to defer a selection to a following year. The most extreme example of this was the 2008 draft, when the Kings made eight trades, yet acquired only one actual player in Brad Richardson.
Tonight, the Kings are scheduled to select 13th overall, their highest draft slot since they selected Brayden Schen fifth overall in 2009.
Because of the tendency for teams to maneuver up and down during the draft, the Kings are in an interesting position. Would they consider trading their 13th pick to pinpoint a player they really like? How would such negotiations occur?
Michael Futa, on the degree of conversations the Kings have had to move up or down:
Well, basically, Blakey and myself have talked to every team with regards to Manchester and after the season, what they had – not that we’re looking to deal them – just to find out where their value is, and then you bring it to Yank, and find out if these guys, if there are spots that we want to move up and down, and if we’re comfortable in moving up and down using those bids, and hey, these guys have earned their chance to earn their spots with the big club. And then, of course, Dean talks to the general managers at that level. We’re all kind of comfortable now with who’s talking to who. But the bottom line is you present it to Dean in the big picture, and we all talk about it as a group, where it fits in. ‘Does this draft pick equal this guy we have in our system,’ or ‘does this big name on another team fit in for this?’ There’s just plenty of movement. Until we board the plane tomorrow night, I guess, and then free agency will start, so this is a busy time. But I do believe this is the most chatty draft that I’ve been a part of as far as different scenarios. It’s unfortunately not just hockey trades, it’s guys just trying to figure their cap out.
Mark Yannetti, on where the tiers are in this year’s draft:
I can be general. Obviously, if we’re picking 13 and I say there’s a tier at 10, we have to get up and teams will know we have to get up. If I say we’re at 13 there’s a tier at 15, teams will know. I think there are four distinct tiers in the first round. Obviously I’m not giving away proprietary information away when I say Eichel and McDavid is a tier. But I think there are four tiers in the first round and then I think there is a chunk of similar players after that. I think there is a massive tier of players after those first four tiers that will encompass a fair amount of picks. After that, it’s hard to tell.