Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Kings First Round Pick: WHL, OHL or KHL?

Nobody knows exactly what's going to happen when the 2010 NHL Draft lands at Staples Center next Friday night. 

For the first time in many years the Kings won't be picking near the top.  And although Dean Lombardi and his staff have spent more than a year going over the crop of talent, there are thousands of scenarios surrounding what might happen before it's their turn at the podium.

That hasn't stopped a myriad of NHL experts from weighing in with their mock drafts.  We've been following the various versions on NHL.com throughout the season.  Their trio of prognosticators are back with their THIRD (and perhaps final) mock drafts.  Here's who they have the Kings picking at #19...

Adam Kimelman's mock draft
KINGS SELECT: Vladimir Tarasenko, RW, Novosibirsk (KHL)
(AK) Excelled in KHL despite being one of that league's youngest players
(MM) Possesses quick hands, lethal shot and likes to play physical
(BH) The chance to play with Evgeni Malkin and possibly Sergei Gonchar will be enough to draw Tarasenko over to the Pens

Mike Morreale's mock draft
KINGS SELECT: Jeff Skinner, RW, Kitchener (OHL)

(MM) Fiery competitor, once nationally ranked in figure skating, had 50 goals in 64 OHL games
(AK) Dead-eye scorer had 60 goals in 84 regular-season and playoff games
(BH) If Skinner continues to develop as he has in the past 12 months, Wild could have a steal at #9

Brad Holland's mock draft
KINGS SELECT: Emerson Etem, RW, Medicine Hat (WHL)
(BH) California-born Etem would be overjoyed to play in his backyard with this up-and-coming group
(AK) Home-grown sniper from Long Beach will make local (Ducks) fans very happy
(MM) Sensational skater who scored 37 as a WHL rookie; intelligent and willing to learn

For what it's worth, Lombardi has taken a player from the WHL in the first round of the draft for three years running.  The lone exception was in 2006, just months after he joined the Kings.  That first year he took Jonathan Bernier (QMJHL) and Trevor Lewis (USHL).


10 days and counting...

The Mayor

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