COLUMBUS/LOS ANGELES – Center Oscar Moller was the first of nine players selected by the Los Angeles Kings (second-round, 52nd overall) in Saturday’s second and final day of the 2007 NHL Entry Draft in Columbus.
Said Kings President/General Manager Dean Lombardi from the draft table in Columbus, “They are all 18 years old and each one of them has some assets to work with that I think will translate well into NHL players. I’m such a believer in that it is what we do next that is going to determine whether they become players. That is the next step. We will see them at our development camp (in July) and it is our job to make them better. They all have an asset and I think they are all pretty good kids. We have to make them players and we have to make them men.”
Moller, 18, played in 68 regular season games this past season with Chilliwack of the Western Hockey League and the 5-11, 179-pound native of Stockholm, Sweden, ranked fifth among WHL rookies with 69 points (32-37=69). Moller captained Team Sweden at the 2007 Under-18 World Championships and he was one of 40 draft-eligible prospects selected to participate in the 2007 CHL Top Prospects Game where he was named the Player of the Game for Team White. In addition, he was named the co-winner of Chilliwack’s Rookie of the Year Award in 2007 and he captained Team Sweden at the 2006 Under-18 Junior World Cup (and finished second on his team in scoring).
“I’m really excited about being drafted by the Los Angeles Kings,” said Moller from Columbus on LAKINGS.COM. “I heard it is a good organization and I think they are a good team. I’m really excited about being picked by them. Los Angeles is a big city, it’s multi-cultural and I’m sure I’m going to enjoy my time there.”
Also in the second-round, the Kings used the second of their two second-round choices (61st overall) to select 18-year-old right wing Wayne Simmonds. A 6-1, 162-pound native of Scarborough, Ontario, Simmonds recorded 49 points (23-26=49) and 112 penalty minutes in 66 regular season games with Owen Sound of the Ontario Hockey League this past season.
In the third-round, the Kings selected center/right wing Bryan Cameron with the 82nd overall choice. A 5-10, 175-pound native of Brampton, Ontario, Cameron, 18, ranked third on his team with 33 goals and scored 58 points (33-25=58) in 60 regular season games with Belleville (OHL) this past season. Cameron was selected to participate in the 2007 CHL Top Prospects Game, was named to the OHL All-Rookie First Team in 2005-06 and was a member of Team Canada at the Under-18 World Cup in 2006 (where he had four goals in four games to help Canada win the gold medal).
“It is real exciting,” said Cameron from Columbus on LAKINGS.COM. “It was nice to see my friends get chosen and now it’s my turn. I’m really excited about being in Los Angeles, and hopefully, things will keep getting better for me. I have not been to LA yet, but I’m looking forward to it.”
The Kings next traded their sixth-round choice (154th overall) and their fourth-round choice in the 2008 NHL Entry Draft to Washington for the Capitals’ fourth-round choice (95th overall) in the draft. With that choice, they selected defenseman Alec Martinez. A native of Rochester Hills, Mich., Martinez, 19, played in 42 games with Miami University of the Central Collegiate Hockey Association this past season and the 6-0, 188-pound blue-liner recorded 24 points (9-15=24) and 40 penalty minutes. Martinez is teammates with Kings goaltending prospect Jeff Zatkoff.
Also in the fourth-round, the Kings used the second of their two fourth-round choices (109th overall) to select center/left wing Dwight King. A 6-2, 218-pound native of Meadow Lake, Saskatchewan, King, 18, recorded 44 points (12-32=44) and 39 penalty minutes in 62 regular season games with Lethbridge (WHL) this past season.
In the fifth-round, the Kings used the first of their two fifth-round choices (124th overall) to select goaltender Linden Rowat. A 6-1, 177-pound native of Cochrane, Alberta, Rowat, 18, had a record of 25-18-7, a goals-against-average of 2.87 and a save-percentage of .897 in 52 regular season games with Regina (WHL) this past season. Rowat, the fourth-highest ranked North American goaltender by Central Scouting, also participated in the 2007 CHL Top Prospects Game.
Also in the fifth-round, the Kings used the second of their two fifth-round choices (137th overall) to select center Joshua Turnbull. A 5-10, 172-pound native of Hayward, Wisc., Turnbull, 18, played in 60 regular season games with Waterloo of the United States Hockey League this past season and recorded 54 points (25-29=54), 66 penalty minutes and a plus-18 rating.
In the seventh-round, the Kings had two selections and used their first choice (184th overall) to select defenseman Josh Kidd. A 6-4, 220-pound native of Sundridge, Ontario, Kidd, 18, recorded 27 points (9-18=27) and 96 penalty minutes in 64 regular season games with Erie (OHL) this past season.
Also in the seventh-round, the Kings used the second of their two seventh-round choices (188th overall) to select center/left wing Matt Fillier. A 6-0, 180-pound native of New Glasgow, Nova Scotia, Fillier, 18, totaled 36 points (18-18=36) and 118 penalty minutes in 63 regular season games with St. John’s of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League this past season.
“It’s always nice to get the guys you think you prize, but ultimately, this is just the middle step,” said Lombardi while commenting on his scouting staff and the process. “I think where the scouts can really start taking pride and ownership is that it doesn't stop here. The kids will come into our development camps, and I believe that is a part of the integration between the scouts and the coaches. When these kids come in next month is when you start to see the results of your work. You see them at your rink and you get to know them as people. That is where the work starts.”