Interview with Mark Yannetti on Kings Draft Pick Adrian Kempe

NHL Draft 2014

With the 29th pick of the 2014 NHL Draft, the Kings selected Adrian Kempe. Andy Tonge caught up with Yannetti at the end of the night.

Q: What do you like with Kempe

He really fits in what we’re looking for in a King, the way we built our team, the way our team is currently built. He plays a very similar style already to the style that we play. One of the fundamental areas that he probably lacks in because of the European game the way it is, is the puck protection we preach in LA and in Manchester is not. The foundation and the fundamentals aren’t there, the will and the skill and the ability are there for him to do it, but the fundamentals and the foundations aren’t there. That’s what our guys teach. The only element that he’s not truly advanced in right now in terms of how we want to build a team, the elements that our guys do the best at building so when Nelson, and Mike get him it really plays to their strengths as well. He’s big he’s heavy he can skate, but he thinks the game really well. While not a playmaker, he’s tactically very smart. There are some similarities to Tanner Pearson’s style of game, although they’re different players and they each have different strengths there are some similarities in that type of game.

Q: Kempe has one more year in Sweden, what’s his plan.

For me the development path with him, I am equally comfortable with his development path in Sweden as it is now, or a year from now if we take him to the AHL. I’d be willing to discuss, depending on his progression is, depending on how much time we talk to him and he’s going to commit his time to our development camp and development guide in the summer, I’m obviously more comfortable with him potentially spending more time in Sweden. In my terms of his progression looking in the future, which is uncertain. I do see, that his progression is such that Manchester in one year is very legitimate, an almost possible probability. Not a definitive possibility, it does seem to make sense.

Q: Was he a guy you would have traded up for?

We attempted to trade up, and we were unsuccessful. He was obviously one of the guys we were interested in trading up for. However at one point, once again we don’t gamble, we read the draft and we thought the way the draft was going one of our three guys. It was at that point we stopped trying to move up because we thought one of our three guys would still be there at 29.

What do you think is his time line is.

It’s crazy to put that kind of expectations, he plays with pros in Sweden, they always like to say against men. He plays at a pro league level in Sweden and he plays a pro style of game against older players. He’s a little more advanced in terms of NHL readiness. I would still think, with the exception of the outliers like Drew, I think you need a minimum of one year in the American League. I think we’re seeing a year and a half, two years in the American League is even better. Slava Voynov was good enough to make our team as an 18 year old, and he spent three years in the American League He was definitely good enough to make our team as a 19 year old and he was definitely good enough as a 20 year old because he was there and won a Stanley Cup. It definitely didn’t hurt Slava for being there for 2 and a half years. It didn’t hurt Tyler for being there two years and it certainly didn’t hurt tanner. Dwight King didn’t hurt. Fans want guys to jump and development people want guys to jump, coaches want guys there as fast as possible. Players want to be there fast as possible, but I think the most success we’ve had with a little bit longer period in Manchester. My ideal thing would be a year and a half to two years after he’s done with Sweden. I don’t know if that’s the case.

MORE: Adrian Kempe shares thoughts on being drafted by Kings

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