Former-ish Penguin Jake Muzzin on Facing the Team That Drafted Him - LA Kings Insider

Jake Muzzin is not only returning to the LA Kings lineup, he’s also returning to face the first NHL team that took a chance on him.

“I was never really there. I feel I made the right decision. I mean, [laughing] …it’s not like I had a decision, actually,” Muzzin said.

With the 141st pick in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft, the Pittsburgh Penguins selected an OHL defenseman who had only played 37 regular season games (out of 136 games) with the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds over the course of two seasons.

“I wasn’t good enough at the time. And I can honestly say that. I wasn’t ready for it. I appreciate them taking the chance on me, I just wasn’t ready at that time,” Muzzin said.

Muzzin went unsigned.

He re-entered the NHL Draft in 2009.

This time, Muzzin went undrafted.

“I’d gone to an NHL Camp in the summer, then a main camp at the start of the year [with the Nashville Predators], and I had nothing out of that,” Muzzin said.

Jacob Muzzin of the Nashville Predators poses for his official headshot for the 2009-2010 NHL season.”

He ultimately returned to the Greyhounds for an overage season.

“I was grateful for that year,” Muzzin said. “I worked hard that summer. I knew it was kind of my last kick at the can.”

The hard work paid off as Muzzin took home the Max Kaminsky Trophy, given to the top defenseman in the OHL.

At that point the rejuvenated Muzzin was a free agent, and he began fielding more and more interest from teams across the NHL. But two teams pursued the hardest.

“I think we had around seven or eight teams, but the [Anaheim] Ducks and Kings were the two that were really interested,” Muzzin recalls.

So what was the determining factor?

“At the time Anaheim didn’t have a farm team, and I knew I wasn’t going to jump right into the NHL. I talked to my agent and my parents, and we thought that LA was a better fit at the time, so we chose LA,” Muzzin said.

Oh, what could have been for so many teams…

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Jake Muzzin

#6 | 6′ 3″ | 216 lb | Age: 27

Born: Feb 21, 1989
Birthplace: Woodstock, ON, CAN
Position: D
Handedness: Left

Bio

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.
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Anze Kopitar

#11 | 6′ 3″ | 224 lb | Age: 29

Born: August 24, 1987
Birthplace: Jesenice, SVN
Position: C
Handedness: Left

Bio

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.

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Drew Doughty

#8 | 6′ 1″ | 195 lb | Age: 26

Born: December 8, 1989
Birthplace: London, ON, CAN
Position: D
Handedness: Right

Bio

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.

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Tyler Toffoli

#73 | 6′ 1″ | 200 lb | Age: 24

Born: April 24, 1992
Birthplace: Scarborough, ON, CAN
Position: C
Handedness: Right

Bio

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.
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Jeff Carter

#77 | 6′ 4″ | 215 lb | Age: 31

Born: January 1, 1985
Birthplace: London, ON, CAN
Position: C
Handedness: Right

Bio

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.

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Jonathan Quick

#32 | 6′ 1″ | 218 lb | Age: 30

Born: January 21, 1986
Birthplace: Milford, CT, USA
Position: G
Handedness: Left

Bio

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.

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