November 31-in-31: Los Angeles Kings

Julian Mongillo

2020-11-14

Los Angeles Kings logo courtesy of stmed.net

Los Angeles Kings logo courtesy of stmed.net

 

Draft Review

After being bumped down in the draft lottery in the 2018-2019 season and receiving the fifth overall selection to take Alex Turcotte, the Kings were big winners in the lottery this year moving up to second overall. That is now two years in a row that the team has held a top-five selection, which will drastically speed up the teams rebuild. The team has been in full out rebuild mode for a few years now and have been able to put together arguably the best prospect pool throughout the entire league. 

 

The team began Day 1 of the draft with a total of 11 picks in their arsenal including three second-round picks and another two in both the third and fourth round. By the end of the day, the team would add a total of nine new prospects to their pipeline. However, the buzz around the team wasn’t about the number of drafts picks they owned but rather which player they would be selecting at number two overall. With consensus number one Alexis Lafreniere going first overall the Kings had a decision to make between Sudbury Wolves forward Quinton Byfield and DEL standout Tim Stutzle. 

 

The Kings decided to select the 6-4 center Quinton Byfield second overall. This selection was a ground-breaking one making Byfield the highest selected player of color in NHL history. By selecting a potential franchise player the Kings’ future outlook is significantly brighter without even having gotten to Day Two of the 2020 NHL Entry Draft.

 

Round 1, 2nd Overall – Quinton Byfield, C

The aforementioned Byfield is the type of player that can turn a team around in quick succession. Although there was a push from Stutzle’s play that made the decision at this spot very difficult the upside that Byfield possesses is off the charts. 

 

The Newmarket, Ontario native dominated the OHL with the Sudbury Wolves last season with 82 points in 45 games played, scoring 32 goals. His big frame allows him to protect the puck well and drive the net hard and his advanced skillset compliments that with his scoring ability in tight. Although he is 6-4 he does not skate like it. He is a strong skater who has a combination of speed, agility, and good edges making him lethal offensively and defensively reliable. 

 

 

The fact that Byfield is only 18-years-old is even more intriguing. He is still growing meaning he could be even taller than his already measured height and still fill into his frame making him even stronger. Byfield immediately becomes the best prospect in the Kings system and with the team having a player in Anze Kopitar to mentor the young forward, he can reach new heights in his development. 

 

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