LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles Kings will host the 2010 NHL Entry Draft at STAPLES Center, the National Hockey League and the Kings announced Friday. The annual Draft -- which will take place June 25-26, 2010 -- will be in Los Angeles for the first time ever.
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"The Los Angeles Kings organization would like to thank NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman, and Bill Daly, John Collins, Don Renzulli and the entire National Hockey League for awarding the Kings, STAPLES Center and the city of Los Angeles this prestigious event," said Kings Governor Timothy J. Leiweke. "The fact that the Draft will be at STAPLES Center and at L.A. LIVE next June is very special to us as our team has been built largely through the Draft and our patience is being rewarded right now. L.A. LIVE is the event capital of the world and we are excited that the NHL Draft is the first of many League Drafts that L.A. expects to host in the future."
"It has been terrific to watch the continuing evolution of the Los Angeles Kings, as well as the growth of hockey in the state of California," said National Hockey League Commissioner Gary Bettman. "With local youth programs producing an increasing number of elite players, we are extremely pleased to bring this showcase event to California for the first time."
"This is a very exciting and this is a very special announcement," said Kings President of Business Operations, Luc Robitaille, who was originally selected by the Kings in the ninth-round (171st overall) of the 1984 NHL Entry Draft. "The Draft is the place so many young players in our sport begin their professional careers and next summer the future of the NHL will be on display in Los Angeles. With the success of L.A. LIVE and our new incredible hotel opening in February, it is the ideal setting for yet another major sports and entertainment event to come to downtown Los Angeles. It is also another example that Los Angeles is a thriving hockey market with knowledgeable fans."
"With the draft being here in L.A. next summer, maybe we can find another Luc Robitaille," said Kings President/General Manager Dean Lombardi.
First priority for all Draft ticketing at STAPLES Center for June 25 and 26 will be given to Kings full season ticket members and STAPLES Center premier seat and suite holders. For official Draft ticket information, call 1-888-KINGS-LA or register for official Draft ticket information by clicking here.
The Kings’ current roster features eight players selected by the club in the annual NHL Draft including seven total players who were selected in the first-round (by the Kings or another NHL club). This list features Dustin Brown (13th overall in 2003), Drew Doughty (2nd overall in 2008), Alexander Frolov (20th overall in 2000), Anze Kopitar (11th overall in 2005), Jack Johnson (3rd overall by Carolina in 2005), Ryan Smyth (6th overall by Edmonton in 1994) and Justin Williams (28th overall by Philadelphia in 2000).
Since Lombardi assumed President/General Manager duties with the Kings, he has used the draft unlike any General Manager in team history to help implement his vision as he continues to build the Kings. Since 2006, Lombardi and the Kings have used 38 overall selections including six in the first round, five in second round and seven in the third round. The Kings have chosen at least one player in each of these rounds the last four years, and going forward the Kings have 10 selections in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft, including six in the first three rounds.
At the annual NHL Entry Draft, which began in 1969, the Kings have selected 385 total players including 32 in the first round, 40 in the second round and 38 in the third round. (The Kings had two selections in the NHL Amateur Draft – 1967 and 1968 – when there was only one round and different draft rules applied).
The highest draft selections the Kings have had in their history were the second overall selections (three times: Doughty, Jimmy Carson in 1986 and Doug Smith in 1981). The Kings have held a draft choice in the top five overall selections six other times (third overall: Aki Berg in 1995, Olli Jokinen in 1997; fourth overall: Larry Murphy in 1980, Wayne McBean in 1987, Thomas Hickey in 2007; fifth overall: Brayden Schenn in 2009).
Some other notable Kings draft picks over the years include the following: Butch Goring – Fifth-round (51st overall) in 1969; Billy Smith – Fifth-round (59th overall) in 1970; Dave Taylor – 15th-round (210th overall) in 1975; Jay Wells – First-round (16th overall) in 1979; Mark Hardy – Second-round (30th overall) in 1979 Jim Fox – First-round (10th overall) in 1980; Bernie Nicholls – Fourth-round (73rd overall) in 1980; Kevin Stevens – Sixth-round (108th overall) in 1983; Rob Blake – Fourth-round (70th overall) in 1988; Alexei Zhitnik – Fourth-round (81st overall) in 1991; Lubomir Visnovsky – Fourth-round (118th overall) in 2000; and Michael Cammalleri – Second-round (49th overall) in 2001.
Three players selected by the Kings are currently in the Hockey Hall of Fame – Robitaille, Murphy and Billy Smith.
The Kings began play in the National Hockey League in 1967 and the club has never hosted the NHL Entry Draft. In fact, for the first time in its 46-year history, the NHL Entry Draft will be held in the State of California. The 2009 Draft was held in Montreal as part of that organization’s Centennial celebration.
Defenseman Jonathon Blum, a native of Long Beach, California, and member of the 2007 Memorial Cup-champion Vancouver Giants of the Western Hockey League, became the first California-born and trained player to ever be selected in the first round (2007). Blum, claimed by the Nashville Predators with the 23rd overall pick, played his youth hockey with the California Wave before moving to the WHL.
Since 2001, 23 players have been drafted from the state of California, including nine in the last three draft years. Only five states in the U.S. have had more - Minnesota, Massachusetts, New York, Michigan and Illinois.
Long Beach, California native Emerson Etem is ranked fourth by NHL Central Scouting on its "Top 25 Western Hockey League Players to Watch" list for the 2010 Draft. Etem, a speedy center with great puckhandling skills, is second on his team -- Medicine Hat Tigers -- in goal scoring with 20.
The first round of the 2010 NHL Entry Draft will take place on Friday, June 25, beginning at 4 p.m. (PT). On Saturday, the draft concludes with rounds two-seven.