Tukonen, right before he injured something.
Kanko, before going on stage with Godsmack.
I didn't know Jack Johnson was an old-timey boxer. Also, black.
Besides Johnson, the Kings don’t have any more exceptional talent, but they have enough players that are good enough that at least one or two will stick. Richard Petiot probably would have made the team last year (saving us the indignity of playing Mike Weaver), but he hurt his knee playing in a rookie tournament and missed most of the season. Joe Ryan, Peter Harrold, Patrik Hersley, and Johan Fransson round out the list of guys who might make the team some day. Hopefully one of them can end up being a top-4 guy, or else the Kings might be in a little bit of trouble once Blake retires and Visnovsky gets traded. (I’m acting like it’s going to happen, in hopes of either jinxing it or mentally preparing myself for it.)
Goalies: All conversation of goaltending starts and ends with Jonathan Bernier. The Kings’ first-round pick in 2006 played very well with the Lewiston MAINEiacs (Cripes, that’s a stupid fucking name) but will probably stay somewhere in the QMLKJGHDJHL next season for a little more work. He’s very good side-to-side and reminds me a little of Marc-Andre Fleury in style (although maybe that’s because the both wear giant pads). The timeline for Bernier is as follows: next year in juniors, then a season in the AHL, then maybe backing up in the NHL, then hopefully starting. If he’s with the Kings in 3 years, I will be very excited.
This is the most excited I've been to see someone do the splits. Well, second-most.
Okay, I guess all conversation doesn’t end with Bernier. Besides him, the Kings can look to Jeff Zatkoff and Johnathan Quick as options in the future. (Oddly enough, Johnathan Quick was drafted at the same time as defensive prospect TJ Fast. I like to think that Dave Taylor thought that if they had fleet-sounding last names, they must be fast. I was waiting for them to draft NiceSlapshot McSpeedy next.) Zatkoff was drafted last year in the third round, but rumors were that he was the 2nd goaltender on the Kings’ draft board. Knowing about Lombardi’s ability to draft goalies, I’ll just assume Zatkoff will be awesome and leave it at that. Quick is a year older and will probably reach the Kings first, but I doubt he'll be a starter in the NHL. Both of them are playing in the NCAA [Zatkoff with Miami (Ohio) and Quick with UMass], so you can watch them if you have ESPNU or live nearby.
So, that’s a (not so) brief overview of the Kings’ farm system. Overall, it’s excellent, but not perfect. A team could always use more depth because you never know when one of these kids will break their leg off or rob a bank or pursue a career in modern dance. If the Kings were to draft on need, it seems that either wings or defense would be best. Who will the Kings actually draft? To be honest, I have no idea. I’m going to pretend I do though and will bring you that article on Thursday. If you can’t wait, shoot me an e-mail; I won’t answer it, but maybe you’ll feel better.