Lombardi on World Cup; Pronman on Kings prospects - LA Kings Insider

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.

* * * * *

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.

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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.