By virtue of his "battle," Denis Fugere announces Kings' pick of Rasmus Kupari - LA Kings Insider

When the LA Kings selected Rasmus Kupari 20th overall, it was Denis Fugere who announced the pick on behalf of the team.

The Kings’ Amateur Scout – Quebec/Maritimes, Fugere was diagnosed with Grade 4 mantle cell lymphoma in September, 2015. He underwent months of chemotherapy, stem cell treatments and other procedures, and received news in June, 2016 that his cancer was in remission. Fugere has since returned to pounding the pavement in scouting and evaluating.

At a team dinner in Dallas Thursday night, Rob Blake addressed the scouts, coaches, management and team media, telling the assemblage that Fugere would make the selection. It sparked an important and tender moment for the tight-knit group.

“What [Blake] said was ‘a hockey game is a battle,’ and then he referred to me that I went through a life battle, and let’s say I was surprised,” Fugere said. “Then he said that I was to call our first pick of the day if we don’t make any trades. I kind of fumbled, I said, ‘why is that?’ I was really surprised. This is a great move, a great organization. I’m more than happy with the organization. We know that sometimes my health is still on the bubble, I have to be very careful, I have to take some rest. Sometimes I just have to change my schedule at the last minute, and nobody says anything. I’m just more than happy.”

The immediate joke was that Fugere wouldn’t be able to change the pick to a French Canadian while on the stage.

“Could it be a Quebec guy? I don’t know,” Fugere said. “I have no clue. Mike Futa said, ‘Fuge, you don’t have the right to change the pick.’ I’ll be very careful when we get there, I’ll get the right pick.”

In honor of Hockey Fights Cancer night early in the 2016-17 season, I spoke with both Fugere and Futa. Here’s a sense of what Fugere and his family went through, and how the team supported him in his battle:

-Lead photo via Juan Ocampo/NHLI

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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

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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.

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


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