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05-20-2005, 10:46 AM
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Excellent writeup John.

Originally Posted by PSP
I'd like to think that the Kings "turned the corner", but did they really? Let's look at the 4 "keepers" you discuss:

1. Frolov - very solid
2/3. Lilja/Visnovsky - picking Euro over-agers isn't quite the same as finding an 18 year old and predicting how well he will develop. With overage players, it's pretty much a "what you see is what you get" situation. Visnovsky has worked out well, but he is going to be 29 before the beginning of the next season (whenever that is).
Yes, they turned the corner. You are trying to find things to criticize about the draft and that's fine. But what KJ was saying (I think) is that this draft was "turning the corner" on previous drafts and I don't see how anyone who knows the Kings draft history can say that statement isn't true. He wasn't saying "the Kings drafted the best PROSPECTS in history" or "the 2000 draft was their best ever". He said they "turned the corner" and when you compare the 2000 drafts to their previous drafts, I just don't see how someone can argue that.

The Kings essentially gave away Lilja (as well as Bednar) in the Yushkevich deal.
That's a whole different argument. Lilja was a good, solid pick who has played 180 NHL games (and played well). You know how many players outside the top 6 overall have played more games than he has? Six. You know who's played the THIRD most NHL games of all players drafted in 2000? Visnovsky at 268...after Gaborik and Hartnell.

As for "giving away" Lilja and Bednar (which isn't relevant to the actual draft itself and the quality of the picks made), they got a 5th rounder in that deal that they DID NOT give away and picked a pretty good kid with: Brady Murray. So they didn't exactly get "nothing" for Lilja and Bednar. Then they got 4th and 7th rounders when they traded Yushkevich to Philly...the 4th was used to pick up Stumpel and the 7th was used on Guelph goalie Danny Taylor. Picking up Yushkevich was a good idea that didn't work out, which every GM does (including Lamouriello and Lacroix.......and Bobby Clarke). The redeeming factor is that DT recognized pretty quickly that Yushkevich had lost too many steps and traded him for picks that he turned into something.

Anyway, my basic point with your quibble here is that DT did NOT "give away" Lilja and Bednar. He gave away Bednar (who turned out to be a waste) but got a good ultimate return for Lilja in Murray, Taylor and year of Stumpel (who I have always liked more than most).

4. Lehoux - IMO, he should have seen at least a few games with the big club considering all of the injuries. Right now, he has "Pavel Rosa Syndrome" -
I will just never understand where this perception comes from. What is your opinion (that "he should have seen at least a few games with the big club") based on? Have you completely forgotten how he was playing in 03-04? He was NOT playing well and you think he should have been REWARDED by giving him time on the Kings??? And I think it's a little early to tag him with Pavel Rosa Syndrome. Rosa was given many chances to show he had what it took to play in the NHL and he failed. Lehoux has yet to play a game in the NHL...apples and oranges.

and Andy Murray doesn't give this type of player much of a chance.
That's just pure, unadulterated crap. Andy Murray gives players of ALL types a chance. Ok, that's not true, AM only gives players a chance who DESERVE a chance. Lehoux hadn't EARNED a promotion to the Kings so he didn't get that chance...and it's the same with other players. But I defy you to name 5 players who EARNED (through good play and not solely attrition) promotions or more ice time but didn't get it. Or maybe you and I just have different philosophies on how kids should be developed. IMO, they should EARN their ice time BEFORE they get it. It seems to me that you think they have already earned it by virtue of being young and alive and they should be granted ice time until they suck so badly they don't belong there anymore.

In addition, where are the Kings 2 1st round picks from 2001 on the HF Top Prospect List?
The one who may never make it to North America is rated #16, the one who is actually in the system is out of the top 20.....

OK, maybe it's a VERY wide corner
That's a fair criticism but I think it's off, based on how Steckel played in Manchester this year. Also, Karlsson remains a decent prospect who is ONLY 22 YEARS OLD and we won't know whether he's a bust until he either comes over and plays or decides he's just not going to. I would say the next two years will determine that.

Originally Posted by PSP
The NHL games/pick stat becomes more a measure of how many overagers the team picked. Overagers are usually chosen to produce NOW instead of waiting to develop. Minnesota has the highest game/pick, but they also had 5 overagers out of 9 picks, with one being 31 years old.

If you calculate it on actual prospects, the Kings drafted Frolov and 8 other prospects. Frolov is the only one to play in the NHL with 156 games. This would give the Kings a "games/prospect pick" of 17. Since Atlanta didn't take an overager, their rating is still 24.

IMO, a more accurate way to rate and compare draft classes.
No. It's a more accurate way to rate and compare PROSPECT classes. KJ wasn't comparing PROSPECT classess...he was comparing DRAFT classes.

Originally Posted by KING ELVI
I tend to agree with PSP on this one. Lehoux was considered a bust up until this season, Lilja and Vis were comparatively safe picks to help step into a bad D. The rest have become "too small" to be NHL material. Not sure that drafting a handfull of midgets, 2 Euro veterans and one 1st round stud is anything to be proud of. Sure the past was awefull, but this draft was not a windfall either. It seems to mark a turn around in their approach to the draft. Maybe it should have read...a couple of positives for the Kings in a draft, finally....
So what if Lehoux was considered a bust until this season? He isn't anymore and that's that...he has re-joined the realm of solid prospects. If Lilja and Visnovsky were so safe, why didn't anyone else pick them? Was everyone else's defense so terrific that they didn't need either of them? I just disagree...I think a draft that produced Frolov and Visnovsky is a draft to be VERY proud of. And Lehoux and Lilja just add to that. But you're right in your comment "It seems to mark a turn around in their approach to the draft.", which IMO is exactly what I think KJ was getting at.

Originally Posted by PSP
It's always "a chance", but picking players 5 years or more older than the typical draftee is much easier. The overagers in general are role players where there really is no expectation of tremendous development past the stage where they are when drafted.
"Much easier"? Huh??? If it's so easy why was DT the only one to get 2 of them...and only 5 such overagers have played significant roles in the NHL from that year? Lilja, Wallin, Visnovsky, Cechmanek & Sekeras (and it's arguable whether Wallin and Sekeras did that).

IMO, draft picks should be used to build your team for the future, not fill existing holes - free agency works (or worked) just fine for those type of players.
It just amazes me that people can find ways to make picking Visnovsky (and Lilja) into a bad thing. EVERY GM IN THE NHL would kill to have picked Visnovsky in the 4th round. EVERY ONE OF THEM.

Last edited by jt: 05-20-2005 at 10:52 AM.
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