The Kings have a fairly large group of CHL representatives this year, many coming out of the 2014 and 2015 NHL Entry drafts. While they have a large numbers of players, they have few upper-round picks representing the team. They also are strictly limited to just two leagues of the CHL: the WHL and the OHL. With eleven players currently playing in the CHL, only two are from the first three rounds of the draft. The Kings are going to need some late rounders to blossom (and they have a few on their way) to really make the best out of a group full of outliers and depth players.
The WHL’s Eastern Conference was the – slightly – more competitive conference last season, and that should ring true again in 2015-16.
Last season in the East it took 73 points to make the playoffs, while in the West three teams qualified with less than 73 points. The East also featured the league-leading Brandon Wheat Kings, who finished the season with 114 points, two more than the Kelowna Rockets. The Wheat Kings may have lost a couple of pivotal 20-year-olds from last year’s team, as well as Ryan Pilon (NYI), who has taken an indefinite leave from hockey, but the team still boasts depth better than any organization, with a wealth of young, up-and-coming stars. The Wheat Kings, in fact, have landed atop the CHL 2015-16 preseason rankings. Read more»
In recent years the Los Angeles Kings have brought in many players from the OHL, and it has been met with a fair amount of success. Tanner Pearson, Drew Doughty, Kyle Clifford, Andy Andreoff;. the list of OHL draftees is long and successful. That pattern has not changed, as the Kings have a staggering eight OHL prospects out of their pool of ten Junior prospects. Mark Yannetti, the Kings’ director of amateur scouting, and Clay Leibel, the club’s Ontario scout, seem to have a formula for success with OHL selections right now.
Without having too many high selections in recent drafts, the Los Angeles Kings have done quite well in growing their pipeline in areas of need. While the graduation of Martin Jones does hurt the goalie pipeline, they continue to stock up on useful centers and defenseman. While the wings might not be top-tier, there are some role players and quality players peppered throughout.