Following the selection of forward Brayden Schenn with the Kings first pick, fifth overall, Dean Lombardi held a conference call with the Los Angeles media.
Question: Tell us about your reasons for picking Brayden Schenn:
Dean Lombardi: The number one attribute for Brayden is his competitiveness. He’s a playoff-type player. This is a kid who hurt his shoulder against the Calgary Hitmen in the playoffs and he refused to quit. And you talk about a competitor… that’s pretty attractive.
Question: Did you end up fielding a lot of offers a few minutes/hours before you made the pick? Did you end up fielding a lot of offers, or was it pretty quiet?
Dean Lombardi: It really got quiet at the end of last night. I knew early-on I couldn’t move up. And then it was a question of moving down, and the offers to move down were not enough. Maybe two years ago it would’ve been attractive to acquire more picks, but I think now we’re at a different stage and it makes more sense for us to take what we feel is the better player.
Question: Where do you see Schenn ultimately filling in?
Dean Lombardi: There’s a little bit of Mike Ricci in his game. I think that’s where most people characterize him.
Question: What did you think of the Pronger trade?
Dean Lombardi: Anaheim got back what they paid for him…and more. They got everything back that they gave up for him and a Stanley Cup. That’s an impressive deal.
Question: More specifically, can you tell us about Brayden Schenn and what his strengths are and what he needs to work on.
Dean Lombardi: Well, I think the biggest thing he needs to work on is his skating. But his hockey sense is top-notch. He has the ability to make those small, smart, little plays and has no fear going into traffic. He’s a real competitor and I think he’s got a chance to grow into some leadership.