May 14: On this date; NHL Draft notes; Worlds updates and photos - LA Kings Insider

Happy May 14. This happened five years ago today:

Chris Williams/Icon Sportswire

Noah Graham/NHLI

Andrew D. Bernstein/NHLI

And, let us not forget May 14, 2013:

Andrew D. Bernstein/NHLI

Andrew D. Bernstein/NHLI

Andrew D. Bernstein/NHLI

That was Game 1 against the Sharks in 2013, a game the Kings led 2-0 when Jarret Stoll was hit in the head by Raffi Torres late in the second period and didn’t play again until the Western Conference Final. “Well, we weren’t resting him and he didn’t come back,” Darryl Sutter said after the game. Jonathan Quick made 35 saves in the second of his three shutouts through the first two rounds. The Chicago series was not as kind – though he and his teammates battled back courageously after this one.

Remember hockey in May? Hockey in May was fun.

OF SUBSTANCE. The lede from Elliotte Friedman’s most recent 31 Thoughts:

Sam Cosentino’s 2019 NHL draft rankings for May are out. I concede this is much more his expertise than mine. He knows these guys much, much better than I do.

From what I’m hearing, there is some consensus developing around the top four or five. Jack Hughes and Kaapo Kakko are one-two, with Kaako widening eyes in the early days of the world championships. (Thumbs up to New Jersey’s social media team for lusting after both players on its Twitter feed. Very good.) The Rangers at number two can relax and be happy with whatever they get.

A few teams I spoke with believe WHL Vancouver defenceman Bowen Byram and U.S. National Team Development Program centre Alex Turcotte are separating themselves at three and four, although Sam thinks one of Turcotte’s teammates — centre Trevor Zegras — is in that group. Sixth on his list is WHL Lethbridge centre Dylan Cozens.

Interesting stuff. It should also be stated that the consensus isn’t necessarily on how the first six picks will transpire. Teams have different lists, certain teams may rely more heavily on the U-18 tournament, where players like Turcotte and Zegras had very good showings, compared to the lukewarm appraisal of Dylan Cozen’s game at the tournament and a performance by Vasily Podkolzin that, combined with his KHL contract status – he’s signed for two more seasons in the KHL, it has been reported numerous places – has him trending down in the draft, perhaps towards a team willing (and able) to be more patient.

If you’re reading between the lines, the news here is that Bowen Byram probably won’t be around by the time the Kings take the podium, and that’s another casualty of “losing” the draft lottery. Whether or not the Kings would take him, he’s the consensus best defenseman available, with one NHL amateur scout sharing with LAKI they’d “put him in Drew Doughty category,” and it would have been nice to have had the option to draft him. (That assessment corroborated much of what I was hearing and sharing about Byram on LAKI throughout the year.) For what it’s worth, Chicago has drafted a glut of high-profile defensemen like Adam Boqvist and Henri Jokiharju, as Friedman pointed out, so perhaps he slips by them. But I’ve never heard a general manager say, “UGH, I JUST HAVE TOO MANY GOOD DEFENSEMEN, THIS IS A HUGE PROBLEM,” so I’m not sure if that really applies at all to the Hawks, who have made encouraging moves and can benefit from draft lottery fortune in accelerating their organizational turnaround.

Not draft-related, but Friedman also noted that new Edmonton general manager Ken Holland will have to make a decision on Jay Woodcroft, who has widely been expected to be pursued by Todd McLellan. “Woodcroft did an excellent job with the [Bakersfield] and its prospects, but the expectation is Todd McLellan will want his former Oilers assistant to re-join him with the Kings,” Friedman wrote. “Woodcroft built a new identity for himself, but where does he see a better future?”

WORLDS. While Anze Kopitar’s campaign with Slovenia at the Division I-A World Championship ended last week, Alec Martinez, Adrian Kempe and Ilya Kovalchuk are participating at the main event in Slovakia, with Martinez stationed in Kosice and Kempe and Kovalchuk in Bratislava. It’s too early to make anything yet from this tournament; the United States lost to the hosts before resoundingly defeating France and edging Finland in overtime. On Wednesday they’ll face Great Britain, who are winless and have been outscored 20-1 through three games.

Martinez: 0-2=2, -2, 5 SOG; TOI: 20:45, 17:24, 19:04
Kempe: 1-2=3, +3, 7 SOG; TOI: 14:13, 14:08, 17:18
Kovalchuk: 1-1=2, 4 SOG; TOI: 13:57, 16:29, 12:29

Martinez has skated alongside Ryan Suter on the United States’ top pair, while Kempe has shifted between Sweden’s second and third lines and skated alongside Anton Lander and Loui Eriksson during Tre Kronor’s 9-1 win over Norway on Monday; his brother, Mario, is skating on Sweden’s fourth line. Kovalchuk, Russia’s captain, has skated with Ivan Telegin and Sergei Andronov on the fourth line while also drawing power play time.

All right, all right. We know what you’re here for.

No, not that. This:

Martin Rose/Getty Images

Xavier Laine/Getty Images

Lukasz Laskowski/PressFocus/MB Media

Martin Rose/Getty Images

Martin Rose/Getty Images

Martin Rose/Getty Images

Martin Rose/Getty Images

Lukasz Laskowski/PressFocus/MB Media

Martin Rose/Getty Images

And since you’re here, stay a while:

Robert Hradil/RvS.Media

Robert Hradil/RvS.Media

Robert Hradil/RvS.Media

Robert Hradil/RvS.Media

Robert Hradil/RvS.Media

Robert Hradil/RvS.Media

And, finally, presented without any context:

–Lead photo via Martin Rose/Getty Images

Adrian Kempe

#9 | 6′ 2″ | 195 lb | Age: 21

Born: September 13, 1996
Birthplace: Kramfors, SWE
Position: LW
Handedness: Left

Bio

Kempe was selected by the Kings in the first round (29th overall) in the 2014 NHL Draft.
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Alex Iafallo

#19 | 6′ | 185 lb | Age: 23

Born: December 21, 1993
Birthplace: Eden, NY, USA
Position: C
Handedness: Left

Bio

Iafallo was signed by the Kings as an unrestricted free agent on April 18, 2017.
VIEW ALEX IAFALLO POSTS

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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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.

VIEW JEFF CARTER POSTS
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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