LOS ANGELES, CA — When asked for one word descriptions on his recent play, forward Michal Handzus and Jarret Stoll said “calm” and “awesome”… rookies Kevin Westgarth and Kyle Clifford used “dependable” and “unbelievable”… meanwhile, veteran defenseman Willie Mitchell said “he’s a battler.”
From the moment he was drafted by the Los Angeles Kings in 2006, the hype surrounding Jonathan Bernier began to escalate at almost an alarming rate.
In the coming months compliments and rave reviews came pouring in on the teenage phenom, with phrases like ‘the savior’ and ‘future of the franchise’ nearly always included.
So, it would have been very easy for Jonathan Quick to get lost in the shuffle after being drafted by the Kings in the third round the year before. In some ways, the deck almost seemed to be stacked against him.
First off, he was part of a rather mediocre draft class. Sure, the 2005 NHL Draft featured the ultimate prize – Sidney Crosby – and other big names like Bobby Ryan and Anze Kopitar. However, after the first round just take a look at the names drafted by the Kings that year: Dany Roussin, T.J. Fast, Quick, Patrik Hersley, Josh Meyers and John Seymour. Slim pickings to say the least…
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