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NHL Draft: Meet Your Newest LA Kings

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The 2013 NHL Entry Draft was this past Sunday in Newark, New Jersey and the Los Angeles Kings chose seven up-and-comers to help build for the future. With the help of YouTube and several hockey news outlets, I gathered the following information on each player. Let us meet them now in order of position chosen from first to last.

Valentin Zykov. I already want his jersey.  On Twitter, there were several hockey fans voicing their want of Zykov. There were several Kings fans that gloated over the selection. Admittedly, I had never heard of this kid, so I did some internet reconnaissance on the young Russian and what I found impressed me.

Zykov played his first year in North American in the QMJHL (Quebec). In 67 games he totaled 75 points off 35 assists and 40 goals – that’s right Kings fans, 40 GOALS! He was the league Rookie and Offensive Rookie of the year. Using my YouTube detective skills (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zDDoe1bnCjE), I saw that he is definitely a solid left-winger who is always in the right spot. His positioning is optimal for getting the best looks in front of goal and he looks really comfortable doing it.

Justin Auger is a feisty one out of the OHL. Now I know highlight reels are just that, but the moves that Auger displays in my YouTube investigations (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4RFfL8omgug) shows he will be a deadly forward to defend. His quick stick is not only good for the goal but good in setting up his teammates with some well-placed passes. Not only is the 19 year old Ontario native quick, he had some deadly sniping skills as well. The stat I like most about Auger: 6’6”, 224 lbs.

Hudson Fasching is a real youngster that isn’t even old enough to vote yet, but he has skills that got the attention of the Black-and-White decision-maker, Dean Lombardi. He racked up 27 points in 56 games in an Under-18 league. Unfortunately, info is sparse on him as he is one of the younger guys under the Kings’ jurisdiction. It is said he will attend the University of Minnesota in the fall.

Patrik Bartosak was the only goalie that the Kings chose in the draft. Sure, L.A. has Jonathan Quick for the next 10 years, but Bartosak reminds me of Quick. He appears to be a guy that is active and always knowledgeable of where the puck is. Last year for Red Deer of the OHL, he had some pretty sweet statistics: 2.26 GAA, .935 save percentage and a record of 33-14-5. I smell back-up! (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7pzBcd2HfJ0)

The acquisition of Jonny Brodzinski is one that will ignite a Division and Family rivalry. Jonny’s brother, Michael, was chosen in the same round by the San Jose Sharks. While doing my YouTube investigations (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tT5Mi_WozCg) , I did not see a lot of what Michael had to offer, but saw a highlight reel on Jonny that had him involved with everything from shooting to passing to getting in position. This is a kid out of St. Cloud State University that has some potential and I guarantee his brother and the Shark rivalry will push it further.

The Kings last two selections of Zachary Leslie and Dominik Kubalik did not have as much information available. Even lakings.com (kings.nhl.com) did not have that much on them except stats from last year. Leslie had 40 points in 68 games and Kubalik had 34 points in 67 games. Despite the lack of information, I trust Dean Lombardi with what he has to do to keep the Kings in hockey supremacy. Him and his crew have all the information on these guys while I have a temperamental Wi-Fi signal.

So these are your new Kings acquisitions. Time will tell if they were great chooses. It is simple psychology. The development of, well, anything, depends on nature versus nurture. Will the “nature” of these homo sapien creatures flourish into a NHL Superstar? Will the “nurture” of the Los Angeles Kings’ coaching staff (along with Kings affiliates, Manchester Monarchs, Ontario Reign, et. Al.) develop these guys in to what the franchise needs of them? We shall soon see.