Friday, June 19, 2009

Rudy Kelly shares his LA Kings' entry draft thoughts

If you don't know Rudy Kelly or the Battle of California crew by now, I'd be damn astounded. Aside from a few side projects here and there, BoC is where I started blogging (and still do, albeit sporadically) and the Rudy/Earl Sleek combination is what makes it such a force of hockey blogging nature.

Sleek provides statistical analysis, healthy snark and adorable cartoons while Kelly showcases his deep knowledge of the Kings and all the acidic, acerbic wit that comes from following a team that hasn't managed a Cup victory in its 40+ years of existence.

Over the years he's made some of the darkest, most brilliant jokes you'll find anywhere in the sports blogosphere. Although, I must be honest: I enjoy it just as much when he writes lighthearted stuff comparing hockey players to dogs. (Seriously though, read that post. It's gold.)

Either way, make sure to follow Rudy's stuff at BoC. Like you haven't already, you silly geese.

1. If the Kings hold onto the pick, who would you expect and/or prefer the Kings to select? Why?

RUDY: I expect the Kings will take Brayden Schenn because Dean Lombardi loves Western Canadian boys and hates Europeans that aren't from weird places like Germany. Schenn is a good kid and would set the Kings' center position up for the next 10 years. I personally like Svensson-Paajarvi, but I also like sniffing glue so you shouldn't listen to me.

2. Obviously you've heard the rumors of the Kings packaging their first round pick with Jack Johnson for Chris Pronger. Going beyond the credibility of the report, how would you feel about such a move? How much would Pronger change the Kings goals and ceiling as a team?

RUDY: I personally feel that trading the 5th overall for an elite player is a good move for the Kings. They have about a 3-year window opening up where they can compete for a Cup and a player like Pronger or Lecavalier or Heatley would definitely help. I don't think Pronger for the 5th overall AND Johnson is a good idea, though.

3. Looking back, describe some of your favorite Kings drafting memories. What are some of the team's biggest steals/franchise altering moments?

RUDY: Lubo is one of my favorite draft picks, although getting Kimmo Timonen in the 10th round in '93 was pretty good. Imagine having both of those guys on your blue line? And, of course, Luc.

4. On the other side, take us through some of the less pleasant moments in their drafting history. Which moves/overlooked players make Kings fans kick themselves?

RUDY: Aki Berg, Josh Green, Olli Jokinen, Mathieu Biron (not Martin), Andrei Shefer, Alex Frolov, Jens Karlson, Denis Grebeshkov, Dustin Brown, Lauri Tukonen. From 1995-2004, the Kings drafted pretty terribly. Berg ended up being an NHL regular (albeit a bad one), Jokinen was traded for Ziggy Palffy, Grebeshkov is meh, Frolov and Brown ended up alright, but everyone else sucks. Also, the Kings once drafted Tom Glavine once, so yeah.

5. Take this opportunity to get on a soapbox. Feel free to share your thoughts on the upcoming draft, off-season or whatever else that's going on in the NHL.

RUDY: The Kings will make some sort of move this off-season. They have too many assets and too many opportunities to do nothing. There's trades (Vinny, Danny, uh Illy-y), free agents (Marian, Marian, or someone with a boy's name) or draft picks (Brayden, Evander or MAGNUS). The Kings will be much better in some way next year. I love the off-season

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