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by Staff Writer / Los Angeles Kings
Thomas Hickey
COLUMBUS/LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles Kings selected defenseman Thomas Hickey with the fourth overall selection in the first-round of today’s NHL Entry Draft in Columbus. Rounds two through seven of the draft are scheduled for Saturday in Columbus, with the Kings holding nine more selections (including two in the second round) in the remaining portion of the draft.

Hickey, 18, played in 68 regular season games this past season for Seattle of the Western Hockey League (WHL) and had 50 points – including a team-leading 41 assists – 70 penalty minutes and a plus-15 rating. In 11 playoff games with Seattle, the 5-11, 182-pound blue-liner had seven points (3-4=7) and four penalty minutes.

“He’s a tremendous skater who can cut on a dime, and he moves equally well going both north-and-south and east-and-west,” said President/General Manager Dean Lombardi from the Kings’ draft table in Columbus. “In today’s game, that type of player can make plays in the defensive zone and really get the puck moving up the ice. We already have good young forwards in Los Angeles, and now with Jack Johnson and a kid like this for the future…I’m pretty excited about that.”

Central Scouting says, “A skilled defenseman… positions himself well defensively and has good anticipation of the play… able to skate the puck out of the zone and make good outlet passes… controls the power play with patience and is smart with the puck.

Hickey was named to the Western Conference Second All-Star Team in 2007 and he participated in the 2007 CHL Top Prospects Game. In addition, he was named the Thunderbirds’ Rookie of the Year in 2005-06 after posting a team high 27 assists and 28 points (1-27-28). Hickey also represented Team Pacific at the Under-17 World Championships in 2006 and he was named to the First All-Star Team, leading all defensemen with eight assists in the tournament.

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