The website Hockey’s Future – a website tabbed as “The No. 1 Online Prospect Resource” — have named the Los Angeles Kings as the top organization in the National Hockey League in terms of prospects in their Spring 2011 rankings.
Hockey’s Future determines their rankings by considering each team’s entire list of prospects. Rankings are done twice a year, in the Fall and Spring. Last Fall, the Kings were ranked as the second-best organization in terms of prospects.
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The site (www.hockeysfuture.com) lists the Kings’ top five overall prospects as Brayden Schenn, Jonathan Bernier, Andrei Loktionov, Tyler Toffoli and Derek Forbort. The top defensemen listed were Forbort, Viatcheslav Voynov and Nicolas Deslauriers. The top forwards listed were Schenn, Loktionov and Toffoli. The top goaltenders listed were Bernier, Martin Jones and Jeff Zatkoff.
Hockey’s Future Spring ranking is the most recent recognition for the Kings and their list of prospects. The Kings were recently recognized by The Hockey News in their 2011 “Future Watch” edition for their successes at the annual NHL Entry Draft as that publication graded the Kings as the club with the second-most successful drafts and Schenn was selected as the No. 1 ranked prospect. The previous two years the Kings – who have made the NHL Playoffs each of the past two seasons — were graded as the No. 1 team in the “Future Watch” edition.
In addition, the Manchester Monarchs, the Kings’ American Hockey League (AHL) affiliate, had another successful campaign this past season, compiling a 44-26-4-6 record (98 points), which was tied for the fifth-best mark in the AHL. In 2009-10, Manchester was 43-28-3-6 (95 points) and advanced to the Eastern Conference Finals.
At the junior level this season Kings prospects also made headlines. At the World Junior Championship, Schenn — who started this season with the Kings and played in eight games with the club — helped Team Canada earn their second straight silver medal as he was named both Tournament MVP and named to the All-Tournament Team. Schenn, who served as a team alternate captain, recorded 18 points in the tournament, which tied the record set by Dale McCourt in 1977.
Linden Vey of the Medicine Hat Tigers led the Western Hockey League (WHL) with 116 points (that led the entire Canadian Hockey League [CHL], which consists of the WHL, Ontario Hockey League [OHL] and Quebec Major Junior Hockey League [QMJHL]). Meanwhile Tyler Toffoli of the Ottawa 67s led the OHL with 108 points.
Since taking over as Kings President/General Manager, Dean Lombardi has revamped the structure of the Kings scouting staff and development department. At the draft table, the Kings used 38 overall selections from 2006-09 and 43 total since Lombardi was appointed to his position. Among those selections, seven have been in the first round, six in the second round and eight in the third round.
Kings players selected by Lombardi and staff include: Drew Doughty (a nominee for the Norris Trophy in 2009-10 and member of the 2010 Canadian Olympic Gold Medal-winning hockey club), Wayne Simmonds, Kyle Clifford, Bernier, Schenn, Loktionov, Toffoli, Forbort, Voynov, Deslauriers and Zatkoff.