The Los Angeles Kings have drafted many world-class stars in their half-century-plus of existence, but the majority of their all-time all-draft team members had to seek their fame and fortune elsewhere.
It all starts with Hall of Famers Billy Smith and Larry Murphy. The list also includes Butch Goring, Kevin Stevens, Mike Cammalleri, Martin Gelinas, Robert Lang, Olli Jokinen, Wayne Simmonds, Kimmo Timonen, Darryl Sydor and Garry Galley. They all spent their best NHL seasons with other organisations.
Then again, the Kings have plenty of all-time greats who have spent their entire career with Los Angeles and are destined to wind up in the Hall of Fame. That list starts with Drew Doughty and includes Jonathan Quick and Anze Kopitar. Even Dave Taylor and Dustin Brown hung around L.A. their entire careers.
The Kings have done an amazing job identifying stud defencemen. The fact Murphy only makes the second pairing behind Doughty and Rob Blake says it all. All three figure prominently in The Hockey News 2020 special issue entitled The Top 100 NHL Defencemen of All-Time, coming out later this year. In fact, all rank among the top 50.
The L.A. blue line corps is so deep it was a shame to leave the likes of Alexei Zhitnik, Jay Wells, Mark Hardy, Lubomir Visnovsky and Alec Martinez off the top-six.
Hall of Famer Luc Robitaille, the top-scoring left winger in the history of the NHL headlines the offence. He’s on the top unit with Bernie Nicholls and Dave Taylor – the former more for era reasons rather than superb two-way man Kopitar down the middle. It’s a credit to the Kings that six players on their all-draft team were selected with overall picks No. 100 or later.
And what a tandem in goal. Smith is already in the Hall of Fame and Quick is bound to join him in half a dozen years or so.
Information includes draft year, draft position, amateur team and NHL stats (games-goals-assists-points; W-L-OTL, GAA, SP)
Bernie Nicholls – 1980, 73rd overall, Kingston (OHA) (1,127-475-734-1,209)
Anze Kopitar – 2005, 11th overall, Sodertalje (Swe.) (1,073-333-617-950)
Butch Goring – 1969, 51st overall, Dauphin (MJHL) (1,107-375-513-888)
Olli Jokinen – 1997, 3rd overall, Helsinki (Fin.) (1,231-321-429-750)
Luc Robitaille – 1984, 171st overall, Hull (QMJHL) (1,431-668-726-1,394)
Kevin Stevens – 1983, 108th overall, Silver Lake (USHS) (874-329-397-726)
Mike Cammalleri – 2001, 49th overall, Michigan (CCHA) (906-294-348-642)
Martin Gelinas – 1988, 7th overall, Hull (QMJHL) (1,273-309-351-660)
Dave Taylor – 1975, 210th overall, Clarkson (ECAC) (1,111-431-638-1,069)
Dustin Brown – 2003, 13th overall, Guelph (OHL) (1,183-299-354-653)
Robert Lang – 1990, 133rd overall, Litvinov (Cze.) (989-261-442-703)
Wayne Simmonds – 2007, 61st overall, Owen Sound (OHL) (909-251-248-499)
Drew Doughty – 2008, 2nd overall, Guelph (OHL) (919-117-385-502)
Rob Blake – 1988, 70th overall, Bowling Green (CCHA) (1,270-240-537-777)
Larry Murphy – 1980, 4th overall, Peterborough (OHL) (1,615-287-929-1,216)
Kimmo Timonen – 1993, 250th overall, KalPa (Fin.) (1,108-117-454-571)
Garry Galley – 1983, 100th overall, Bowling Green (CCHA) (1,149-125-474-599)
Darryl Sydor – 1990, 7th overall, Kamloops (WHL) (1,291-98-409-507)
Billy Smith – 1970, 59th overall, Cornwall (QMJHL) (305-233-105, 3.17, .891)
Jonathan Quick – 2005, 72nd overall, Avon Old Farms (USHS) (325-240-67, 2.39, .913)