There are a few links I’d like to pass along before I head back down to Kings HQ this morning, and the first one comes from Corey Pronman, ESPN.com Insider’s NHL prospects and draft guru. Having already spoken to Pronman about Los Angeles prospects and the club’s draft approach, you can catch his Kings draft analysis here (he gave the club a B grade even though L.A. traded its first round pick as part of the Milan Lucic trade).
On Tuesday, Pronman rated every club’s farm system from 1 to 30 ($). His criteria:
There was an emphasis on the top prospects in a system but not a complete one, as I considered overall prospect depth and looked more at quality depth, which means players I consider to have at least a shot of playing a useful role in the NHL.
These rankings are not meant to illustrate team drafting skill or be a comment on management/decision-making. This is simply a snapshot of the current prospect strength of an organization, given the thresholds I use to define a prospect.
The Kings clocked in at 27, down from 19 at this point last summer. Says Pronman:
There were some positives going for the Kings system this season. First-rounder Adrian Kempe looked very good between the SHL and AHL, and the farm team won an AHL championship. The Kings have a number of AHLers close to making the next step. On the flipside, they only have a handful of quality prospects and the overall system depth is somewhat light.
Pronman says he’ll start each organization’s top-10 prospect rankings next week.
There’s also an interesting Craig Custance article about why the top prospect-laden teams are ranked as highly as they are.
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One of the benefits of Dean Lombardi presiding over the 2016 United States World Cup of Hockey team (other than an accomplished purveyor of talent sitting at the helm) is that his position will be good for additional media availability and press conferences between now and next September. He invoked George Washington and Cincinnatus in his opening World Cup statement in Lake Placid last week, and after he answered questions, he also met one-on-one with NHL.com’s Shawn Roarke to discuss his approach to putting together the U.S. team. There were topics that were Kings-related:
NHL.com: Have you had a lot of those conversations with [U.S. Olympian] Dustin Brown from your team?
Lombardi: I have had a few with him, but I have also had discussions with other players. I talked to Johnny Quick. It is certainly worthy to hear from their perspective, and that is true with my team in L.A. as well. But, in the end, it comes back to you. That’s where you have to be careful. The ultimate responsibility lies in that [dressing] room. I’ve always said, “The players run the show, then the coaches and the management, their dream is having that team on auto-pilot because the room runs itself.” That is the ultimate team. If a player has an opinion on something, yes. We could have done better, but what could you have done better? You just have to be careful because that can get into, “That’s his fault,” and it is a dangerous line.
Give the rest of the article a read; it’s very interesting.