LA Kings 2011 HFNHL Entry Draft & Organization Depth Report

Discussion in 'HFNHL Talk' started by Dempsey, Jun 18, 2011.

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  1. Dempsey

    Dempsey Registered User

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    The HFNHL LA Kings knew they were going to have a big draft in 2011, after all they traded their top two picks last year (6th overall and Jordan Weal) for first round picks this year. The team just didn't know exactly how it was all going to play out.

    At fifth overall, inside sources say that GM Mike McEwan was long committed to taking defenseman Ryan Murphy at this spot. Instead, the club turned their attention towards taking a forward. With the 5th choice, the Kings selected big center Sean Couturier. One look at the organizational depth will show the only true center with offensive ability being Derick Brassard, so Couturier is a potential dream come true.

    As the draft rolled along, it started to look like Ryan Murphy may fall to tenth, but GM McEwan has been absolutely fixated for months on taking center Mark Scheifele in that spot. The Kings were said to have Scheifele as high as 8th for the last two months, and knew that the lanky center would likely be theirs on draft day.

    So, with Murphy also falling, LA made a deal with the Coyotes to upgrade their 16th overall pick to 11th by adding the 40th pick, and swung that deal when Mike Zibanejad and Brandon Saad went 8th and 9th, respectively. At 11th overall, the Kings were elated to add Ryan Murphy to their prospect charts.

    The Kings then swung a deal to send defenseman Mark Fistric to the Edmonton Oilers for the 77th overall selection. The Kings need to fill spots like Fistric's with veteran leadership to overcome the inexperience of the young core. With the 77th overall pick the club welcomed Swedish blueliner Mattias Backman to a prospect chart that already sports plenty of defensive depth.

    GM McEwan had these quotes about his newest additions:

    On Couturier:
    "I think we got ourselves someone who is going to play a key role in our quest for a championship here. He is a big, strong kid who sees the ice so well, and people are underrating his offensive skills. Not every big point producer in the NHL is flashy, and we think Sean will be a top center for us, which was our biggest need going forward."

    On Scheifele:
    "We loved what we saw from Mark at the U18's in Germany, but also what he was able to do in his very first year in Barrie. He came on strong as the season progressed, and we have to remember that it was his first year in the OHL. Very impressive, and his big finish to the OHL season should hopefully continue through to next season. He is an extremely hard worker who will only continue to get better with added strength. Today we were able to add two big centers which takes our organizational weakness and instantly makes it a strength."

    On Murphy:
    "This is a kid who can do it all offensively. His smarts, skating, puck skills, everything offensively is at an elite level. We don't think his size will hold him back from being anything less than a truly gifted offensive performer at the HFNHL level. To get this kind of a player at 11th overall is just great."

    On Backman:
    "Our scouts love his potential. He's a tall, lanky defenseman who we think has what it takes to succeed. He's physical, has a good understanding for the defensive game, and has good puck skills to go along with it. We think his game will transition similar to how we've seen Nik (Hjalmarsson) come along for us these last few years."

    A quick look at the Kings' new top prospects list:

    C Sean Couturier
    D Ryan Murphy
    D Brendan Smith
    D Ryan Ellis
    C Mark Scheifele
    G Braden Holtby
    D TJ Brodie
    W Jared Knight
    W Teemu Hartikainen
    W Matt Frattin
    D Colby Cohen
    W Billy Sweatt
    C Zach Hyman
    C Chris VandeVelde
    F Oscar Moller
    D Mattias Backman

    23 and under:
    Patrick Kane
    Jamie Benn
    Alex Pietrangelo
    Brad Marchand
    Derick Brassard

    The rest:
    Cam Ward
    Alex Goligoski
    Ryan Whitney
    Alex Steen
    Scott Hartnell
    Troy Brouwer
    Matt Cullen
    Jack Skille
    Gilbert Brule
     
  2. Ohio Jones

    Ohio Jones Game on...

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    A strong list, Mike. But who's going to play defense when Ellis, Smith and Murphy are on the ice? (It may not matter, given how much they'll score!)
     
  3. HFNHL Commish

    HFNHL Commish Registered User

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    It didn't occur to me until after the draft that you now had Ellis AND Murphy. Interesting blueline you have there, to say the least!

    And I know at least one other person in addition to me (Dr. Sens) commended the selection of Couturier. Given the premium on big centers, I think way too many people have been underselling the kid.
     
  4. Ohio Jones

    Ohio Jones Game on...

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    Could partly be overscouting, and his skating is a limitation. But the pieces are there, and a big man who plays a complete game is skews going to be given every chance to develop. He may never be an impact player (although it's possible), but he'll be a good pro for a very long time.
     
  5. Dempsey

    Dempsey Registered User

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    I go BPA regardless of need, and getting Murphy at 11 was too good to pass up IMO. There'll be trades down the line, I've just done my best to draft and add assets to hopefully have enough to shape up a winner when the ratings start catching up, which they are.
     

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