Kings 2005 draft review

By John Logue

The Los Angeles Kings held the No. 11 position in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft and were able to make one of the better prospect pools in the NHL even better. With many elite forwards in their system, the Kings mainly focused on their blueline, picked up a goaltender, drafted a re-entry, and once again had an elite pick drop to them. The Kings’ fourth round pick was traded to Chicago prior to the 2003 trade deadline for Nathan Dempsey.

Anze Kopitar, C
Round 1, 11th overall
Sodetal Je Jr Sweden

The top rated European skater by Central Scouting, Kopitar is the complete package for an NHL center. He has the ability to score goals, set up plays, win faceoffs and play a two-way game. Kopitar is the first ever player drafted from Slovenia and has been honing his skills in the Swedish Elite League.

Kings Director of Amateur Scouting Al Murray said about him: “Anze is a very good puckhandler, he can both score goals and set up plays. For a guy his age, he is very solid defensively, he is very good positionally and is very committed to playing defense. He is also very good on faceoffs. He was really well liked by all his teams and is a very humble, very hardworking guy. If you are looking to compare him to someone in our organization, he is similar to Alex Frolov.”

Dany Roussin, LW
Round 2, 50th overall
Rimouski QMJHL

Dany Roussin and the Florida Panthers thought they had agreed on a contract this summer, but it was received by the NHL offices six minutes too late. Roussin is a gifted goal scorer that proved he could still perform without Sidney Crosby. He recently signed a multi year contract with the Kings and is being given a shot to make the opening night roster. If he doesn’t, he will start with the AHL Manchester Monarchs.

“He’s been fortunate to play with Sidney Crosby,” stated Al Murray. “But he’s also been a good enough player to take advantage of his opportunities and score a pile of goals. He’s a natural goal scorer with a great shot, he’s got good size, and his skating is average.”

T.J. Fast, D
Round 2, 60th overall
Camrose, AJHL

T.J. Fast is an offensive defenseman with a great set of wheels and vision of the ice. He could very well be quarterbacking the Kings power play in a few years. He is going to be attending the University of Denver and should fit in perfectly with their style of play. The Kings hope he develops into a player similar to Lubomir Visnovsky. The 6’0, 190-pounder lives up to his last name — he is a very fast skater.

Al Murray commented, “He’s going to the University of Denver. We like the style Denver plays and we have a lot of confidence in their coaching staff. They play an up-tempo style which is perfect for T.J .They allow their defense to carry the puck, join the rush and be real offensive defensemen. With the emerging changes in the NHL, you always want offensive defensemen with speed and puckhandling ability. I think they are going to become even more important in the new NHL. “

Jonathan Quick, G
Round 3, 72nd overall
Avon Old Farms, USHS

Quick set new school records in shutouts (9) and goals against average (1.19) in 2004-05 and allowed one goal or less in 19 of his 27 games. Going into the draft, Central Scouting had him ranked as the ninth best goaltender. Some scouts had Quick going in the first round. The Kings had him as the fourth best goalie on their list and were very happy he was available in the third round. He is a butterfly style goalie, an intense competitor and is best known for never giving up on a play. Quick will be attending U-Mass in the fall.

Patrik Hersley, D
Round 5, 139th overall
Malmö IF, SEL

Hersley is a hulking 6’3 defenseman with an edge to his game. He also makes an excellent first pass out of the zone, and has an excellent slapshot from the point and is very responsible in his own end. Hersely will be representing Sweden in the World Junior Champioships this year. He will start the season in the junior league next season, but could get some call-ups to MIF’s SEL team.

Al Murray’s comments on him: “He was one of the more improved players we saw in Sweden last year. Ari Vuori, our European scout, was very high on him. Hersley will be trying out and we expect that he’ll make the Swedish World Junior Team and he’ll be in Lake Placid later on this month when the US World Junior team brings in the Swedes and the Finns. Hersley is a big kid, 6’3, plays with some bite and has some offensive skill. He is a good passer, not a quarterback for a power play or anything like that, but a good passer with good size who is a good skater.”

Ryan McGinnis, D
Round 6, 184th overall
Plymouth, OHL

McGinnis is a big strong defenseman who is no stranger to the penalty box. The Kings like his strength and skating ability and upside. McGinnis mostly played against the opposing team’s top lines last year and is expected to take an even bigger role in Plymouth this year. He is strictly a defensive defenseman at 6’1, 200 pounds. He is not overly physical, but does a great job shutting down the opponent’s top lines.

Josh Meyers, D
Round 7, 206th overall
Sioux City, USHL

The Kings see Josh Meyers as a complete defenseman who can move the puck and play a solid positional, defensive game. At 6’2, 180, he is not nearly the physical defenseman as the Kings two prior selections. Meyers has a knack for being in the right place at the right time and rarely gets beat on a play.

Al Murray said of him, “[He’s]a right shot defenseman. He is going to Duluth. He plays a combo style. He is a good safe player, good positionally, moves the puck okay but doesn’t put up a lot of points. He doesn’t get beat, but isn’t overly physical. We’re not too sure how he is going to develop but we like the overall package with good size and decent skating.”

John Seymour, LW
Round 7, 226th overall
Brampton, OHL

This pick was a compensation pick from a trade with the Blue Jackets last year where the Kings should have acquired their eighth rounder. Seymour is a rugged left wing, but he didn’t play many minutes from the fourth line, but he kept catching scouts’ eyes. The 6’3, 176-pounder will fill out and could develop in to a very effective energy line player for the Kings. The Kings really liked what they saw in Seymour and they felt good taking a chance on him with their final pick.

Copyright 2005 Hockey’s Future. Do not duplicate without permission of the editorial staff.