My mistake, Pearson was drafted 30th overall in 2012 and Vey was drafted 2009. However, I believe my point still stands.
(The other being Toffoli)
I agree that our drafting past the gimmies hasn't been good, but Pearson, Toffoli, and Vey have a total of 10 games between them (half of that coming from one player).
We've had twice that from an undrafted rookie, and both Lander and Pitlick have played in games this year as well (the same cup of coffee Vey and Person enjoyed for us).
I think supporting cast has a lot to do with it as well. It's a lot easier to play a 21 year old (Toffoli) in spot duty on your 3rd line when you can put him on the ice along side Mike Richards and roll out a top 6 of veteran players like Brown, Williams, Kopitar, Stoll, and Frattin.
To compare that to the Oilers' situation, our top 6 has names like Hall, Nuge, Eberle, Gagner, and Yakupov, all of whom would be the youngest forward on the Kings' roster (Gagner would be 2nd after Clifford). Does it make sense to bring in even younger players to play with them even if they're good enough for the NHL? Yes, some of it is the players, but some of it has to be opportunity and having a place to put them that makes sense.
Shawn Horcoff was vilified on this board for years, and despite being incredibly weak down the middle, it was widely accepted that he needed to be let go at any cost, even via compliance buyout.
Jim Nil traded assets for this player with no salary retained, yet the overwhelming majority of HFOil posters believe he's the guy we should've gone after.
This place never ceases to amaze me.
I said at the time!
Also. Look at this the other way. Nil dealt a 7th, which is pretty much useless an as asset, and he dealt a depth Dman that Dallas had in spades for a veteran C.
He also went out and got Peverley (another vet C) and Seguin (an up and coming potentially elite 1st line C).
He said Dallas needed depth at C and he went out and got 3.
That sounds decent, doesn't it ?