Scouting And Development Are Cornerstones To Dean Lombardi’s Efforts
INTERVIEW WITH DEAN LOMBARDI: In the fifth and final installment of this series based on an in-depth interview with Los Angeles Kings President/General Manager Dean Lombardi, we take a close look at two of the Kings’ 2008 draft picks, at their scouting and development infrastructure and we get a peek into what Lombardi thinks going into the 2009 National Hockey League Entry Draft.
EL SEGUNDO, CA — With the 2009 National Hockey League Entry Draft beginning tonight in Montreal, the brain trust of the Los Angeles Kings, including President/General Manager Dean Lombardi, are going over their lists with the proverbial fine tooth comb, projecting who might be available when their turn, the fifth overall selection in the first round, comes around, along with what kind of trades might be out there for them to get in on.
But before Frozen Royalty looks ahead to the 2009 draft, let’s take a step back and look at a couple of 2008 Kings draft picks who were big surprises this past season, in more ways than one.
Indeed, defenseman Viatcheslav Voynov (photo at right, courtesy Manchester Monarchs), who was selected in the second round, 32nd overall) and center Andrei Loktionov, a fifth round pick, 123rd overall, were big surprises on a couple of levels.
First off, both are from Russia and last summer, there was a lot of uncertainty about Russian prospects caused by the possbility of them signing with teams in the Kontinental Hockey League in Russia. If they signed with a KHL team after being drafted, any NHL team that selected them would, in all likelihood, be wasting a draft pick.