Although the NHL draft is still months away, the NHL draft lottery got me thinking about past drafts of the Los Angeles Kings, preferably the first-round picks.
Those picks have been good over the last 10 -15 years, getting some key pieces to Stanly Cup runs.
Let’s look at the top 6 busts in Kings’ first-round history.
Center Dan Gratton
Gratton was selected in the first round, 10th overall, in the 1985 NHL draft. He played 7 games, contributing only 1 goal and 5 penalty minutes.
Left-Wing Matt Zultek
Zultek was picked 15th overall in the 1997 draft.
Although he didn’t play a single NHL game, he did find some success in the minor leagues.
Left-Wing Jens Karlsson and Center Dave Steckel
Karlsson and Steckel were both selected in the first round, 18th and 30th overall respectively, in the 2001 draft. Steckel had some success, recording 79 points (33-46) and 129 penalty minutes in 429 NHL games, while Karlsson never saw an inch of NHL ice.
Right-Wing Lauri Tukonen
Right-Wing Lauri Tukonen was selected 11th overall in the 2004 draft, never playing a game for the Kings.
Defenseman Colten Teubert
Colten Teubert was selected 13th overall in the 2008 NHL draft. The defensemen played only 24 games, registering 1 assist and 25 penalty minutes.
For those keeping score that list has provided the following: 432 career games, with 34 goals and 47 assists for 81 points while spending 159 penalty minutes in the penalty box. That is not a good resume for players picked in the first round.
However, if you are picked in the said round you have to know the expectations that come with such a high selection.
There will be no busts with this year’s selection; 2nd overall because this crop is loaded with talent and players, and players who could be cornerstones for the franchise.
Featured Image: Zimbio.com/Bruce Bennett