Frozen Royalty: A Sign Of Progress For LA Kings: 2010 First Round Pick Derek Forbort
Gann Matsuda of Frozen Royalty attended the 2010 NHL Entry Draft this weekend. Here’s his in-depth analysis of Kings’ first-round pick Derek Forbort.
LOS ANGELES — At the 2010 National Hockey League Entry Draft, it became clear early on that the Los Angeles Kings’ draft philosophy had taken a significant detour from what had been their standard operating procedure.
The last few drafts have seen Kings President/General Manager Dean Lombardi use his picks, especially the higher round selections, to go after prospects who might be able to contribute at the NHL level sooner rather than later.
But with the 2009-10 Kings making the playoffs for the first time since 2002, and with the franchise poised to take the next step towards becoming a Stanley Cup contender, the Kings now believe they can be more patient in terms of young prospects they bring into the fold, and that was evident right off the bat with first round selection Derek Forbort, a 6-5, 198-pound defenseman out of the United States Under-18 National Team Development Program.
In order to get their hands on Forbort, the Kings sent the 19th overall pick in this year’s draft, along with a second round pick (59th overall), also in the 2010 draft, to the Florida Panthers in exchange for the 15th overall selection.
Forbort, 18, a native of Duluth, Minnesota, scored four goals and contributed ten assists for 14 points in 26 United States Hockey League games that his NTDP team played in. Overall, Forbort scored five goals and added 23 assists for 28 points in 65 games.
Forbort also played in the 2010 Under-18 World Championships, recording two assists and a +9 plus/minus rating in seven games, helping lead the United States to a gold medal. In 56 games with the U.S. Under-18 team, he scored five goals and added twenty assists for 25 points.
Possessing a good combination of size, strength and agility, Forbort is a good decision-maker and a good passer, but needs to work on his puck-carrying skills and grit.
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