Pre Draft Interview with Kings’ Mark Yannetti

NHL Draft 2014

Just before the NHL Draft kicked off in Philadelphia today, MayorsManor had a chance to chat with Mark Yannetti, one of the key people in Dean Lombardi’s inner-circle and somebody who has been instrumental in all the success Los Angeles has had in selecting players since 2006. Here is what he had to share on a myriad of topics related to what the Kings are up to right now…

On Mike Futa:

“In terms of the amateur draft, the way we look at player, the way guys are scouted, and the way we pick, Mike’s title changes absolutely zero. Mike’s got added responsibilities and less time for himself, but in terms of the amateur side, the same thing its been from day one. It’s been 50/50 the whole way. Nothing gets through without my say so and nothing gets through without his. If we don’t agree, we go to the drawing board.”

On sharing the role:

“I’ll tell you this – you can ask Mike – he’s one of my best friends.We have almost that secondary familiarity bond now. It’s not a cliche, it’s not hype. Mike’s at my house at my Stanley Cup party. I’m at Mike’s house at Canadian Thanksgiving. We’re very close that way. However, originally, when Dean had made that change and I took over in the interim, I wasn’t planning on doing amateur [scouting] and Dean offered me the Director of Amateur Scouting job. I said okay. Two weeks later, Dean sat down with me and said, ‘Listen, I’ve been working on this idea for years. There’s co-directors….and you have this…and this is the only way to do it,’ and went on a 30 minute tangent on [this idea]. He said, ‘Mike Futa is really a player. I think he might be the guy. What do you think?’ I said I thought it was a terrible idea. I got that ‘Dean look’. I said I’m not on board. What happens if we don’t get along? What happens if we disagree? What happens if our philosophies are different? I said no. [Dean] goes, ‘It’s not a (explicit) question’ and gave me that look again. I said, “Oh, I’m looking forward to meeting Mike. I think it’s going to be a fun relationship.’ I wasn’t on board initially for sharing the duties with Mike, but I’ll tell you this – it’s rare for two guys to get together and work like that, but we couldn’t do as good of a job if it was just me or him.”

On adding a new scout:

“We added Chris Byrne in Ottawa just now. I’m the only one without an area. I go wherever I want to go. Mike still had the burden of being an Ontario area scout for the first five weeks of the season, and then became the Co-Director of Amateur Scouting after that. So that’s [now] no longer possible. Chris comes in to take that initial burden off of Mike and fill in Ontario. Mike, in terms of scouting, becomes fluid, like a man without a country.”

On having a much smaller scouting staff than other teams:

“I’ll tell you my philosophy – the best way to do it is to do the job with the smallest staff possible that the job can be done correctly. I don’t care if you have 5 scouts, 10 scouts, 20 scouts, at the end of the day, you only listen to a certain amount of opinions. You can’t listen to 28 opinions. You can’t do it. Every single scout in our room has a voice. If [anyone] says something, it gets equal weight. There’s no fighting for attention. You hear that banging on the table stuff? That doesn’t happen with us. That’s a no go with us. Everybody’s voice is heard, and everything is meaningful, because they can’t rely on someone else to do it. If you have four guys doing an area, we have one guy. It’s a lot harder for these guys, I’m not going to lie. The work expected out of our guys? It’s more. The accountability of our guys? It’s more, because it’s a smaller staff. But I can tell you, that, for me, is the way to do it.”

We’ll have a lot more, live from the Draft floor throughout the weekend.

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