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Many NHL fans know that the key to developing a successful franchise is building through the draft. Some draftees make an impact right away while others take years to develop. NHL.com recently ranked the Los Angels Kings top 5 prospects. The top 5 include F Gabriel Vilardi, D Paul LaDue, F Adrian Kempe, F Jonny Brodzinski and F Jaret Anderson-Dolan.

That top 5 is pretty solid with Vilardi at the top. Vilardi, the #11 pick in the 2017 draft, played with the Kingston Frontenacs of the OHL last season, compiling 22 goals, 36 assists for 58 points in 32 games. He is a top 6 forward who has good hands around the net but could upgrade his skating. Paul Ladue had a cup of coffee with the Kings last season, playing 22 games. He played 38 games with the Ontario Reign, scoring 6 goals and 12 assists for 18 points in 38 games. He is projected to be a top 4 defensemen. Adrian Kmep has spent the most time with the Kings, playing 25 games last year (2-4-6). He also played 46 games with the Reign, scoring 12 goals and 8 assist for 20 points. Jonny Brodzinski is a gifted goal scorer who has top 6 potential. the 6-1 218 forward played 6 games with the Kings last season, accounting for 2 assists. He also spent time with the Reign, scoring 27 goals and 22 assists for 49 points in 59 games. Finally, Anderson-Dolan played 72 games for the Spokane Chiefs (WHL), contributing 39 goals and 37 assists for 76 points. He is good offensively, is above average at the face-off circle and sound defensively.

The Kings have a good prospect pool and should be very excited about what is waiting in the wings. A couple of these prospects could be on the opening roster in 2018-19. These players have a lot of upside, but the question is who will make it this year?

(Stats:NHL.com)

(Photo:ontariohockeyleague.com)

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