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07-15-2011, 11:35 AM
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Stephen
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Thomas Hickey

So I remember a big heated debate during the season where some claimed Thomas Hickey was a definite bust, evidenced by the fact that he's one of the highest drafted players to not play a single NHL game four years after being drafted. I haven't really kept up with his development lately, but guys like Voynov haven't been brought up either, despite terrific minor league stats. Anyway, four years after the draft, does Hickey have a chance to make the Kings?

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07-15-2011, 11:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stephen View Post
So I remember a big heated debate during the season where some claimed Thomas Hickey was a definite bust, evidenced by the fact that he's one of the highest drafted players to not play a single NHL game four years after being drafted. I haven't really kept up with his development lately, but guys like Voynov haven't been brought up either, despite terrific minor league stats. Anyway, four years after the draft, does Hickey have a chance to make the Kings?
Poor kid has been hampered by a lot of injuries, but I still certainly think there's time to pan out. I'm of the thought that he's going to be a mid-twenties bloomer as he physically matures and plays the pro game. That being said, I think it's pretty unlikely he makes the Kings THIS year just by virtue of our defensive depth chart, but I wouldn't absolutely count him out, either.

I'm also guessing his first sniff of the NHL won't be with the Kings, though I hope it will.

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07-15-2011, 11:49 AM
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There was a discussion about him recently on the trade board: http://hfboards.com/showthread.php?t=947181

My response:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Telos View Post
The problem with a lot of our players, in my opinion, is they don't get a fair shake in the NHL (not talking about Hickey, but players like Moulson would fall into this category) and also the fact that in some positions, we are so deep in, like defense, where we actually have several high talents that just have no where to play because of established veterans above them. Voynov was astoundingly good in the AHL last season, and to top it off he is an amazing skater and won the speed competition as well, but he has 6-7 established defenders above him, same goes for several of our other solid prospects, and Dean believes wholeheartedly that these players, outside of a few special cases like Doughty and Kopitar, should pay their dues and work their way through the minors and doesn't believe in age markers or deadlines.

Now back to Hickey - he had a run of bad luck. He was drafted too high because Dean couldn't move down, but was set on needing another solid offensive defenseman to pair wish Johnson or provide a 1-2 punch on the first and second units. He, however, didn't know that a year later, he was going to get one of the most impressive/highest potential young defensemen in the world. Hickey was right there and almost made the team that next camp, but nobody could deny that Doughty was something special, and then Hickey had a couple of unfortunate injuries that put him out of the running a couple of years too. Now he is healthy, but has no where to go, and the team need he was drafted on has been filled by a world class prospect. Doughty and Johnson are solidified, Murray and Lombardi like to pair their young offensive defenseman with a veteran defensive defenseman and therefore the:

Mitchell-Doughty
Johnson-Scuderi
Martinez-Greene

pairings were born. There is no where for anyone to get promoted after Martinez came out of no where and played terrific for us and got re-signed to a multi-year deal and we have several veterans with us for mutliple years, only upcoming change may be Mitchell.

All that rambling was to setup my point that it is true that Hickey's value isn't through the roof, but very few who have never played in the NHL is; however, there are quite a few teams that are interested in a young 22 year old NHL ready prospect defenseman with his upside, skating, and hockey sense. Don't kid yourself, he is still a valuable asset as far as unproven prospects go, and he has proven himself capable of staying healthy last season, he could be a pretty decent bargaining chip to various teams and the only reason he hasn't played a game for the Kings is team need and defensive depth prevents it, not because he isn't capable.
Of course that pertains to value, but just to give the backround and current situation because I don't feel like typing it again He will be hard pressed to find a spot. He can't take a defensive position like Mitchell, Scuderi, or Greene, so he has to take one of Doughty, Johnson, or Martinez's spots, which, of course, he can't when it comes to Doughty and Johnson. Martinez has walked in and established himself as a NHL performer, which our club values (see the Quick vs. Bernier debates), all-in-all, he will be hard pressed to beat out Martinez, if he sticks around with us long enough and works hard he just might, but he is also competing amongst his peers Voynov and DesLauriers. Only one of the three can be promoted at Martinez's expense. Two of the three will eventually be traded or walk. Forbort, Campbell, Gravel, and Muzzin are circling like vultures over Mitchell, Scuderi, Greene, who in some ways don't have much longer left, but unfortunately (for them) on the offensive side of things, we have a couple of young world class defensemen who have established themselves as cornerstone franchise defensemen, and the kids have no chance of bumping them no matter how good they are.

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07-15-2011, 12:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Telos View Post
There was a discussion about him recently on the trade board: http://hfboards.com/showthread.php?t=947181

My response:



Of course that pertains to value, but just to give the backround and current situation because I don't feel like typing it again He will be hard pressed to find a spot. He can't take a defensive position like Mitchell, Scuderi, or Greene, so he has to take one of Doughty, Johnson, or Martinez's spots, which, of course, he can't when it comes to Doughty and Johnson. Martinez has walked in and established himself as a NHL performer, which our club values (see the Quick vs. Bernier debates), all-in-all, he will be hard pressed to beat out Martinez, if he sticks around with us long enough and works hard he just might, but he is also competing amongst his peers Voynov and DesLauriers. Only one of the three can be promoted at Martinez's expense. Two of the three will eventually be traded or walk. Forbort, Campbell, Gravel, and Muzzin are circling like vultures over Mitchell, Scuderi, Greene, who in some ways don't have much longer left, but unfortunately (for them) on the offensive side of things, we have a couple of young world class defensemen who have established themselves as cornerstone franchise defensemen, and the kids have no chance of bumping them no matter how good they are.
Your comments bring to mind another situation with the Kings I wonder about. Since the lockout at least, the Kings are used as a model of a build through the draft type franchise, but at the same time, I can't help but think Lombardi focuses too much of his energies on the back end on defense and in net, creating these massive log jams. Having an embarrassment of riches isn't a bad thing by any stretch of the imagination, but one problem with having a back log of prospects at one position is a lot of them get lost in the shuffle, as you suggest, and their value certainly doesn't appreciate at the rate they would had they made the NHL and established themselves. At the same time, the Kings always seem to be looking for offensive help, especially on the wings. I can't help but think that had Lombardi spread out some of his higher picks on forwards. Like Forbort before Tarasenko.

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07-15-2011, 12:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stephen View Post
Your comments bring to mind another situation with the Kings I wonder about. Since the lockout at least, the Kings are used as a model of a build through the draft type franchise, but at the same time, I can't help but think Lombardi focuses too much of his energies on the back end on defense and in net, creating these massive log jams. Having an embarrassment of riches isn't a bad thing by any stretch of the imagination, but one problem with having a back log of prospects at one position is a lot of them get lost in the shuffle, as you suggest, and their value certainly doesn't appreciate at the rate they would had they made the NHL and established themselves. At the same time, the Kings always seem to be looking for offensive help, especially on the wings. I can't help but think that had Lombardi spread out some of his higher picks on forwards. Like Forbort before Tarasenko.
Well, that's a great point and I assure you there is no easy response amongst Kings fans. Many would side with you in saying that Lombardi needed to spread out the drafting love when it comes to positional need, but if you were to talk to Lombardi he would, of course, say that he would always draft the best player available and that the Kings needed to build from the back out, which shows what types of players he values more.

For Lombardi it goes goaltender, defenseman, center, winger, and he would argue that by drafting the best player who happens to be a defenseman it would give him assets to later trade for offensive help if he needed it, which is debatable. I just think that Lombardi couldn't fail with defense and goaltending; therefore, he had to ensure success by overstocking the shelves and making sure that no matter if there were huge busts, we were going to succeed in having top quality defense and goaltending, and now that we have, he turned to solidifying the center position from top to bottom, and now that he has done that, he can focus mainly on the wingers. It is less work for him to keep the engine running with the cupboards stocked and players in place now, and if he needs anything later on, he can just trade for it and keep drafting well.

But that is his vision, personally, I think it would be kind of nice to go for the flashy forward every once in a while (outside of the usual 7th round low risk/high reward selection), but I can't argue with Dean given how well he has done with his plan, now all he needs is results on the ice, we are holding our breath...

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07-15-2011, 12:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stephen View Post
Your comments bring to mind another situation with the Kings I wonder about. Since the lockout at least, the Kings are used as a model of a build through the draft type franchise, but at the same time, I can't help but think Lombardi focuses too much of his energies on the back end on defense and in net, creating these massive log jams. Having an embarrassment of riches isn't a bad thing by any stretch of the imagination, but one problem with having a back log of prospects at one position is a lot of them get lost in the shuffle, as you suggest, and their value certainly doesn't appreciate at the rate they would had they made the NHL and established themselves. At the same time, the Kings always seem to be looking for offensive help, especially on the wings. I can't help but think that had Lombardi spread out some of his higher picks on forwards. Like Forbort before Tarasenko.
Lombardi's philosophy is not to draft based on need but to draft the best player available regardless of position, unless the two possibilities are equally good players, in which case you take based on need. It just so happens that he and his scouting staff have felt recently that the best players were defensemen.

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07-15-2011, 12:45 PM
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Thomas Hickey is by no means a bust yet. Remember, he was one of the final cuts last year. He may not be the highest on our defensemen depth chart, but he has shown commitment to going down to Manch and improving different facets of the game. I'd bet money he gets at least a cup of coffee in the NHL, whether it's with the Kings, or another team. This kid is still ultra talented, and with the right development, can develop into a Sergei Gonchar.

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07-15-2011, 01:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stephen View Post
Your comments bring to mind another situation with the Kings I wonder about. Since the lockout at least, the Kings are used as a model of a build through the draft type franchise, but at the same time, I can't help but think Lombardi focuses too much of his energies on the back end on defense and in net, creating these massive log jams. Having an embarrassment of riches isn't a bad thing by any stretch of the imagination, but one problem with having a back log of prospects at one position is a lot of them get lost in the shuffle, as you suggest, and their value certainly doesn't appreciate at the rate they would had they made the NHL and established themselves. At the same time, the Kings always seem to be looking for offensive help, especially on the wings. I can't help but think that had Lombardi spread out some of his higher picks on forwards. Like Forbort before Tarasenko.
I think we were all hoping that one of the defensemen in Manchester could have been the cornerstone in the Richards deal instead of it being Schenn.

However, with so many NHL teams lacking fairly inexpensive competent young defensemen to fill their 5-6 needs, Lombardi still has plenty of poker chips if he finds the right kind of winger to trade for and gave up a package that includes one of our young AHL defensemen or Martinez, or maybe even Greene.

It's going to be interesting to watch the continued development of Loktionov, Toffoli, Vey, etc. because the forward positions are starting to work their way up on the Kings prospect rankings chart.

Overall the Kings' scouts have done an outstanding job over the last 4 years especially.

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07-15-2011, 01:22 PM
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Hickey is a bust imho.

The kings needed something solid from that draft and the collective gasp could be heard all around LA. I don't see Hickey sticking anytime soon either. Muzzin, Amart, Voynov, and Deslauries are all passing him on the depth chart and Forbort is a couple of years away too.

Hickey is a bust, but he has the potential to find himself in the NHL one day. His only chance to play in LA will be to have a healthy season in the AHL and compete for a spot next year which I don't see happening honestly.

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07-15-2011, 01:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Knight of the Realm View Post
Hickey is a bust imho.

The kings needed something solid from that draft and the collective gasp could be heard all around LA. I don't see Hickey sticking anytime soon either. Muzzin, Amart, Voynov, and Deslauries are all passing him on the depth chart and Forbort is a couple of years away too.

Hickey is a bust, but he has the potential to find himself in the NHL one day. His only chance to play in LA will be to have a healthy season in the AHL and compete for a spot next year which I don't see happening honestly.
Hickey almost made the team last year.

He was one of the last one's dropped from the Roster, before the season started. If A mart didn't have such a good season. Odds are Hickey would have seen time in a LA Kings Uniform,

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07-15-2011, 01:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Knight of the Realm View Post
Hickey is a bust imho.

The kings needed something solid from that draft and the collective gasp could be heard all around LA. I don't see Hickey sticking anytime soon either. Muzzin, Amart, Voynov, and Deslauries are all passing him on the depth chart and Forbort is a couple of years away too.

Hickey is a bust, but he has the potential to find himself in the NHL one day. His only chance to play in LA will be to have a healthy season in the AHL and compete for a spot next year which I don't see happening honestly.
I am on the totally opposite side of the fence here.

That draft has ended up being a very weak (hit or miss) one where several of the highly touted players have yet to do much of anything. In addition you have to factor in that some teams simply had such gaping holes in their line ups where the player(s) that they drafted had to end up on the ice now and then and we simply weren't so desperate.

Thomas Hickey is very very far from a bust. Is he having a slow development period? I would say average but then there are several examples of exceptional Dmen who have started of their pro careers in the same manner who eventually lived up their promised potential.

To me Phil Boucher is a fair example of a highly touted prospect who had an injury plagued start to his career but eventually developed into a good defenceman but there are several other examples and a few that might be even better.

We are in an anomaly laden time where defencemen are concerned and maybe standing at the foot of substantive change in that where it used to take dmen into their mid 20's to really break into the league but today there are several kids in their early 20's having an impact for their various teams.

Hickey is more likely to get his shot with another team but only due to our ridiculous depth on D. This season sticking with our veteran D is not only what will happen but probably a good idea too but I would be fine with adding Voynov or Muzzin as our #7 this year and then the other the next with the end of WM's contract or by re-signing him and moving one of our other established D.

Dealing prospects is fine and if they are elite it typically gets a very good return but moving young established players even if they have sparse experience typically brings back allot more/better value.

I could see us making our #6/7 spot a revolving door of talented young Dmen being showcased so that we can fill and actual holes that we might have.

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07-15-2011, 01:46 PM
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I am on the totally opposite side of the fence here.

That draft has ended up being a very weak (hit or miss) one where several of the highly touted players have yet to do much of anything. In addition you have to factor in that some teams simply had such gaping holes in their line ups where the player(s) that they drafted had to end up on the ice now and then and we simply weren't so desperate.

Thomas Hickey is very very far from a bust. Is he having a slow development period? I would say average but then there are several examples of exceptional Dmen who have started of their pro careers in the same manner who eventually lived up their promised potential.

To me Phil Boucher is a fair example of a highly touted prospect who had an injury plagued start to his career but eventually developed into a good defenceman but there are several other examples and a few that might be even better.

We are in an anomaly laden time where defencemen are concerned and maybe standing at the foot of substantive change in that where it used to take dmen into their mid 20's to really break into the league but today there are several kids in their early 20's having an impact for their various teams.

Hickey is more likely to get his shot with another team but only due to our ridiculous depth on D. This season sticking with our veteran D is not only what will happen but probably a good idea too but I would be fine with adding Voynov or Muzzin as our #7 this year and then the other the next with the end of WM's contract or by re-signing him and moving one of our other established D.

Dealing prospects is fine and if they are elite it typically gets a very good return but moving young established players even if they have sparse experience typically brings back allot more/better value.

I could see us making our #6/7 spot a revolving door of talented young Dmen being showcased so that we can fill and actual holes that we might have.
Also no one really knows how A Mart will play this coming season. He may stink the joint up. That opens a spot.

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07-15-2011, 01:56 PM
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I would have been happier with Alzner or Voracek(I believe he was after Hickey no?)

I like Hickey and I want to see him make the team but his window is getting smaller.
JJ, Doughty, Greene, and AMart all have spots barring injury or trade. The space just isn't going to be there and it's looking like he may never suit up in LA.

That to me is a bust, especially at #4 in the draft.

For his sake I think he can make the NHL but it might take awhile. Even Boucher was traded a couple of times before coming into his own. If LA can trade him for something of use I'd be happy but I don't think the league is burning up the phones for Hickey, sort-of-speak.

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07-15-2011, 01:56 PM
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It would be a HUGE surprise if A Mart came in and truly struggled but in that line of thought you could say the same for almost any of our players at any position really.

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07-15-2011, 02:05 PM
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It would be a HUGE surprise if A Mart came in and truly struggled but in that line of thought you could say the same for almost any of our players at any position really.
My point is A Mart would have a Very short rope. Compared to let's say Kopitar. Dean is always talking about how he is worried after a Youngster makes the roster.

They tend to slack off. The Kings are not going to let A Mart struggle in the lineup all season long. They would how ever, let Kopitar, Jack, Drew, ETC ETC.

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07-15-2011, 02:09 PM
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Fair point.

He will have the shortest leash among our D. That is part of the reason why I would move DavisD yesterday and bring up VV or JM as our 7 with the intention of bringing them into the line up when the next space becomes available.

Including if the #7kid wins his job away from one of the other established D. I would do the same with our bottom two lines too.

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07-15-2011, 02:10 PM
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Will DD44 be playing in the AHL? Will LA let VV be a 7th dman this year?

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07-15-2011, 02:21 PM
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Hickey, Voynov and Moller should all be moved asap imo.

At this point in the Kings depth chart:

Martinez/Muzzin > Voynov/Hickey
Toffolli > Moller

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07-15-2011, 02:52 PM
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Hickey, Voynov and Moller should all be moved asap imo.

At this point in the Kings depth chart:

Martinez/Muzzin > Voynov/Hickey
Toffolli > Moller
I agree with Hickey and Moller, but I would move DD44 and let Voynov be the 7th D-Man this year.

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07-15-2011, 02:53 PM
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Fair point.

He will have the shortest leash among our D. That is part of the reason why I would move DavisD yesterday and bring up VV or JM as our 7 with the intention of bringing them into the line up when the next space becomes available.

Including if the #7kid wins his job away from one of the other established D. I would do the same with our bottom two lines too.
The problem with a kid at #7 is that the kid is sitting in the press box instead of playing big minutes in the A. As I said before, my hope is that Hickey or Voynov takes A Mart's job in camp, which would require the kid to have a pretty spectacular showing.

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07-15-2011, 02:55 PM
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The problem with a kid at #7 is that the kid is sitting in the press box instead of playing big minutes in the A. As I said before, my hope is that Hickey or Voynov takes A Mart's job in camp, which would require the kid to have a pretty spectacular showing.
I'm fine with Voynov being the 7th dman. He'll get to play in at least half the games considering injuries.

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07-15-2011, 03:53 PM
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Well come to camp play lights out and force a move. Nothing in the rule book says you have to have 3 stay at home defensemen. Greene and AMart spots can easily be upgraded. Also injuries will give him a chance.
Drewiske will probably be the 7th Dman but if someone goes down I can see a scenario something like this:
Scuds - Hickey
Greene or Mitchell - Muzzin
Doughty - Voinov
Johnson - Hickey or Voinov
AMart - Hickey or Voinov

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07-15-2011, 04:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Knight of the Realm View Post
I would have been happier with Alzner or Voracek(I believe he was after Hickey no?)

I like Hickey and I want to see him make the team but his window is getting smaller.
JJ, Doughty, Greene, and AMart all have spots barring injury or trade. The space just isn't going to be there and it's looking like he may never suit up in LA.

That to me is a bust, especially at #4 in the draft.

For his sake I think he can make the NHL but it might take awhile. Even Boucher was traded a couple of times before coming into his own. If LA can trade him for something of use I'd be happy but I don't think the league is burning up the phones for Hickey, sort-of-speak.
That about sums it up. Like several have said, Hickey may make the NHL - but he may not make it with the Kings.

THAT should be later round picks, not a #4 overall.

Many hockey "experts" had Hickey to be drafted in the 2nd round or later - that is proving to be correct.

The Hickey pick at #4 is easily DL's biggest failure as GM - geez Hickey may have even been available in the 2nd round.

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07-15-2011, 04:17 PM
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In a good or average draft Hickey would have gone around the 20 mark according to several pundits.

To me if you compare him to other prospects from that draft he is still as likely to make it as an impact player as he is to never see the NHL.

That said I won't call him a bust until we see where he ends up. If he makes the NHL and becomes a top pairing Dman which is still possible then I wouldn't call him a bust at all.

Was he worthy of fourth overall? That is definitely debatable but I just don't see him as a bust just yet.

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07-15-2011, 04:17 PM
  #25
Pucknut50
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Originally Posted by Butch 19 View Post
That about sums it up. Like several have said, Hickey may make the NHL - but he may not make it with the Kings.

THAT should be later round picks, not a #4 overall.

Many hockey "experts" had Hickey to be drafted in the 2nd round or later - that is proving to be correct.

The Hickey pick at #4 is easily DL's biggest failure as GM - geez Hickey may have even been available in the 2nd round.
No Boston would have taken him at #8 and he would have a cup right now.
DL did get Moller, Simmonds, and AMart so not a bad draft at all.


Last edited by Pucknut50: 07-15-2011 at 04:22 PM.
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