Since beginning their rebuild, the Los Angeles Kings have managed to build one of the league’s deepest prospect pools. As the team starts to see improvement, however, will they continue to stockpile draft picks?
Looking ahead to next year, the Kings already have two second-round picks, two third-round picks and two fourth-round picks, along with their own picks in the first, fifth and sixth rounds. They’re missing only a seventh-round pick.
I like the idea of the Kings continuing to accumulate draft picks, however, it could be a good idea to try to stagger picks a little bit between years. On top of that, the Kings already have a very deep prospect pool, so they shouldn’t be scared to move picks for an upgrade.
For example, I thought the Lias Andersson deal was clever. They had the extra picks and rather than taking someone who's likely a few years out and would need to compete with the majority of the prospect pool to ever earn a spot, they got Andersson, who could potentially be a more immediate addition to the lineup.
As for who could be moved, I’ve noted before that I think Alex Iafallo could be the team’s last major trade piece in the rebuild. He’s coming off a career year and has just a single season remaining on his contract. Plus, given how many quality forwards are part of the team’s prospect pool, they could likely afford to move him and bet on younger players taking over for him in a year or two, when the team is looking towards making a push for the playoffs.
Then looking ahead to the expansion draft, considering how many forwards the team would have to leave unprotected, perhaps they would try to deal some young bottom-six forwards for mid-round picks. If it looks like the Kings may lose them for nothing, it could be worth getting an asset back.
While the Kings are certainly nearing the competitive part of the rebuild, it’s possible we do see the team look to move more pieces next season, in order to continue setting themselves up for the future.
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Here’s today’s poll question (results and discussion will be posted in a future article):
Will the Los Angeles Kings sell off more players in their rebuild?