DAY TWO: LA Kings Predictions for Draft Rounds 2-7

With picks No. 5 and 22 in the books, now all of the Kings attention turns to pick NO. 33 and then rounds three and four, where the have multiple selections.

As of last night:

These type of situations are always fluid. We checked in this morning and things don’t look encouraging on the trade front. As we understand things currently, the offers just have not been there. And that’s perfectly fine for the Kings. They have four players in mind at the pick.

Barring somehting huge coming in at the last minute, the Kings are going to select at No. 33.

ROUND TWO

Based on our research, we see the Kings being interested in the following players at this pick:

Raphael Lavoie – 6-foot-4 forward out of the Quebec junior league

Per The Draft Analyst:

Lavoie is a very good skater with above-average straight-line speed and enough agility to weave around or fake opponents out of position. He is extremely strong on his skates and can sustain shoves or checks from multiple angles during a cycle, using his long reach and wide stance to shield the puck. He also is a capable player in his own end and pounces on pucks in a timely manner. Lavoie comes across as a smart player who is willing to make sacrifices for team success, such as taking a beating in front of the net or using his body to absorb punishment in order to keep a play alive. He can play center or wing, although he looks more comfortable on the flank as a primary shooting option. Lavoie plays a similar style to Kaapo Kakko and could end up surprising some people when his NHL career is finished.

In the scouts we talk to, one of the concerns would be his compete level on a consistent basis. Of course, if it was at a more advanced stage, he would have been taken in the first round. Thus, you’re usually dealing with a little bit of risk in players the further down the draft board you go. We’re told among Lavoie’s best attributes is the his intelligence.

Jamieson Rees – 5-foot-11 center from the OHL

Our research suggests he’s a throwback player; really hard to play against. He has good skating, not elite. Is also versatile and will provide secondary play making, secondary offense. He’s a hard forecheck guy, get on the puck and he’s smart enough and good enough skater that he could play on the second or third line.

Per The Draft Analyst

A lacerated kidney that shelved this up-tempo pivot gave OHL opponents a much-needed rest from his relentless, in-your-face style that combines hustle and top-end playmaking. Now that he’s back to 100 percent, Rees continued to do damage in all three zones while applying pressure in every corner of the rink. His measurements don’t jump out at you, but he plays much bigger than he’s listed and is driven to do whatever it takes to win. On the puck, Rees is a strong stickhandler and makes nifty plays from the hashmarks inward, but he’s also a sharpshooter with the ability to score from the top of the circle. He has excellent straight-line speed and changes gears to when he sees an opportunity to take a defender wide. Rees has tremendous balance for his size and is tough to knock off the puck, plus his chip-and-chase game is among the best of any draft-eligible forward. The beauty of Rees’ game is how he tailors it to match its evolving nature – he can play run and gun or crash and bang as well as anyone, and he is someone capable of lining up an unsuspecting opponent for a huge hit. He was a big part of Canada’s success at the Ivan Hlinka tournament in August, then bounced back from a sluggish OHL postseason to be Canada’s top forward at the under-18 world championship in April.

Who are the other two?

Maybe Brett Leason (6-foot-4 winger, WHL), he’s a real wild card. He’s been through the draft before and I’m not sure if the Kings like him enough to take him in the second round.

Another potential player in the mix could be a kid with as many questions as he has talent, Arthur Kaliyev – who we previously profiled here:

2019 NHL Draft Preview: Arthur Kaliyev, OHL Forward

One thing for sure, we feel pretty comfortable crossing off the following names when trying to figure out the other two players rounding out their group of four under consideration at pick No. 33 – we don’t anticipate them to be in on Bobby Brink, Matthew Robertson, Alex Vlasic, Nils Hoglander, Egor Afanasyev, Patrik Puistola, or Vladislav Kolyachonok. Any of those players could potentially come into play later, but not that high up in the second round for Los Angeles.

One final note on the group of four, we believe there is at least one defenseman in the foursome.

If the Kings are able to swing a trade at some point for a pick later in the second round, keep an eye on Jackson LaCombe and Shane Pinto.

ROUNDS THREE AND FOUR

As noted in our original Draft Predictions article, the Kings weren’t in on Spencer Knight with one of their first three picks. Yet, they’ll be looking to add a goaltender – most likely with one of their selections in the third or fourth round. They appear to be favoring one of the European goaltenders over the options coming out of the WHL and OHL. We broke it all down here.

We’re looking for the Kings to select a goalie somewhere between the third and sixth rounds. Keep in mind they currently have multiple picks in the third (Nos. 64 and 87) and fourth rounds (Nos. 95 and 119).

Names to look out for include: Lukas Parik of the Czech Republic, Sweden’s Hugo Alnefelt, plus WHL netminders Mads Sogaard (he’s listed at 6-foot-7, which might actually be too tall for a goaltender) and Trent Miner. Later, Hunter Jones (OHL) would also receive consideration, while we don’t believe they will get to SoCal product Dustin Wolf. We’d actually be pretty surprised if LA selected the undersized goalie.

OTHER ROUNDS

If you like OHL players, keep an eye on Keenan Washkurak. Graham Clark. and Billy Constantineau.

A high school player could also still be in the mix. See our guesses and reasoning in that same article:

While management never goes into a draft with a mandate of, ‘We need to draft three kids from the OHL this year,’ there is something to the contrary. In years past, the Kings have tended to shy away from high school players. In fact, this is said to be one of the reasons former GM Dean Lombardi wasn’t keen on selecting Ryan McDonagh at the 2007 Draft. This year could see a departure from that strategy when it comes to one of LA’s mid-round picks.

Harvard bound center John Farinacci will most likely be gone by that point, as he should be scooped up in what we’ll call ‘no man’s land’ – that area between the Kings picks at No. 33 and 64 (early in the third round). Defenseman Jackson LaCombe might be under consideration by LA at 33. As one scout shared with us, “LaCombe is a really good player, sky is the limit. There’s a high level of reward in that pick, but he could also come with high risk.” For that reason, he’ll likely also be a no man’s land selection by another team.

Who then?

Forwards Ryder Donovan and Aaron Huglen would be two strong candidates, yet remember the name Jayden Struble – he put on a clinic at the recent Draft Combine; placing first in the bench press, standing long jump, as well as both the right and left hand grip tests.

RELATED CONTENT:

LA Kings Select Alex Turcotte No. 5 – What You Need to Know

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Comments

  1. I think we strengthened ourselves at every position, addressed the scoring too. I just hope Turcotte can stay healthy and not be another Vilardi. He’s a solid pick as was our pick at 22. Love the Kaliyev but was surprised we didn’t move any of our vets.