Over the next couple of weeks I will look at each team in the NHL, and see how they have performed at the NHL draft. There are basically 3 really important areas to determine the level of success at one of the most inexact sciences in the game – selecting 17 and 18 year old kids and projecting what they will be like over the next 10 or 15 years.
Those three areas are: 1) Success in the first round; 2) Success in the second round and 3) The number of drafted players playing on a team’s roster. I limit it to the first 2 rounds because that is where a majority of the impact players come from, and also where mistakes in judgement are magnified. Players that come after the second round for the most part are fortunate picks and if they work out it is a bonus. Henrik Zetterberg, for example, was a 7th round pick, and although you could claim Detroit was skilled in unearthing a prospect at that point in the draft, if they had known he was going to be as good as he turned out to be, they wouldn’t have waited that long. There is as much good luck as good management for a player like that, and that is factored in in the 3rd area of success.
Now we turn our attention to the Los Angeles Kings, and their track record since the year 2000.
FIRST ROUND SUCCESS:
The Kings have selected 17 players in the first round, with 13 of them making some impact in the NHL, for a success rate of 76%.
SECOND ROUND SUCCESS:
In the second round, 6 of the 15 players they selected have gone on to play a significant amount of time, resulting in a 40% success rate.
The Kings had 13 LA-drafted players play games with them this past season.
SUCCESSES – Picking near the top of the first round proved fruitful when the Kings nabbed Drew Doughty with the 2nd overall pick in 2008 and got Brayden Schenn a year later with the 5th pick. They mid-round picks of Dustin Brown (13th in 2003) and Anze Kopitar (11th in 2005) were steals and form the backbone of the forward ranks.
FAILURES – Lauri Tukonen(11th overall in 2004) played just 5 NHL games and Colten Teubert (13th in 2008) hasn’t panned out. Going back a little further, 18th overall pick in 2001, Jens Karlsson, never even came to North America let alone played an NHL game.
STEALS – Current King Jordan Nolan was picked 187th in 2009, and has 2 Stanley Cup rings for his troubles.
OVERALL SCORE: 100.0%*
NHL RANK: 1st – The Kings second round success and pure quality of first round selections makes them the cream of the crop, slightly ahead of the Red Wings.
* Score is determined by a formula that encompasses all three aspects listed above and graded on a curve with the highest ranking team awarded a perfect score and 100% rating and the remainder of the clubs given a percentage of that score.