August 32-in-32: Los Angeles Kings

Sean Crocker

2022-08-13

The 32-in-32 Series is an annual event here at DobberProspects! Every day in August we will be bringing you a complete breakdown of a team’s Draft, and insights into their off-season movements thus far. Following this up in September, we will dive into every team’s prospect depth charts with fantasy insights and implications for the upcoming seasons. Check back often, because we plan on filling your hockey withdrawal needs all off-season long!

What a difference a year can make in the NHL! The Kings returned to the postseason for the first time since the 2017-18 season and had their prized prospects make the jump to the NHL level in 2021-22. Top prospects like Quinton Byfield, Arthur Kaliyev, and Sean Durzi all made an impact on the team and complemented the veterans such as Anze Kopitar and Drew Doughty (when he was healthy) extremely well. 

After falling to the Edmonton Oilers in a game that was a microcosm of their season, the Kings needed to add a scoring winger to their top-six forward group. GM Rob Blake wasted no time in the offseason, landing highly sought-after RFA Kevin Fiala by trading away their first-round pick in 2022 (19th overall) and defensive prospect Brock Faber. Immediately inking Fiala to an eight-year extension worth a $7.85 million AAV, the Kings locked up the breakout star through the 2029-2030 season. 

The move effectively completes their top-six heading into next season after Adrian Kempe re-upped as well, and it is expected those two with play on the flanks of Kopitar to start 2022-23. Coming off a season that saw the Swiss winger destroy his previous career high in points by 31, the Kings are betting that Fiala’s production is here to stay at a point-per-game, and it sure seems like that’s the case. 

As of right now, the Kings have their younger players already broken onto the roster, but with one of the deepest prospect pools in hockey, they are in a great position with accumulated depth from drafts of years past, and they added that much more power to their prospect pool in Montreal. 

The Draft

The Kings did not own their first-round pick for the sake of bringing in Fiala to address their scoring woes, nor did they have their own third-rounder which they used to bring in Viktor Arvidsson last offseason. 

The Kings still managed to put together a strong showing at the draft with a mixed bag of selections that they used to shore up some areas of need while also swinging on safe and projectable picks, but also some heavier homerun swings on overall upside. 

Round Two, 51st Overall – Jack Hughes, C

Not to be mistaken with 2019 first overall pick Jack Hughes, this Hughes plays a similar game with a lower ceiling and other attributes that make him a complete player at a younger age. 

The Kings made a great pick with their first of this draft by taking a player with a projectable floor but also possesses of