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LA Kings Select Akil Thomas, Five Others During Day 2 of 2018 NHL Draft

Focus on speed and skill was successfully filled by Kings front office, says Director of Amateur Scouting Mark Yannetti

by LA Kings @LAKings / LAKings.com

The LA Kings made seven total selections in this weekend's NHL Draft hosted by the American Airlines Center in Dallas.

After selecting forward Rasmus Kupari in the first round (No. 20 overall) yesterday, the Kings continued the draft on Saturday by adding six more members to the teams' 2018 draft class.

"In the NHL, you certainly need to be fast, you need to be skilled, you need to be competitive and you need hockey sense," said LA Kings Director of Amateur Scouting Mark Yannetti. "We filled a lot of those needs today."

The Kings opened day two of the draft by selecting forward Akil Thomas from the Niagara IceDogs of the OHL in the second round (51st overall).

Thomas, a 5-11, 177-pound 18-year old (born on Jan. 2, 2000) from Scarborough, Ontario, totaled 81 points (22-59=81), a plus-6 rating and 36 penalty minutes in 68 regular season games this past season. Thomas ranked fifth in the OHL in assists and ranked second on the IceDogs in points. He also produced over a point per game during the postseason, recording 11 points (5-6=11) in 10 postseason games.

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LA Kings Agree to Terms with Ilya Kovalchuk on 3-Year Contract

KHL's leading scorer will join the Kings for the 2018-19 season after agreeing to terms on a contract

by LA Kings @LAKings / LAKings.com

The LA Kings and forward Ilya Kovalchuk have agreed to terms on a three-year contract, Kings Vice President and General Manager Rob Blake announced today. 

"We are excited to add Ilya to the LA Kings organization. He gives us an added element of skill and scoring along with a desire to win. We will withhold further comment until July 1," said Blake.

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LA Kings Select Rasmus Kupari with No. 20 Pick in 2018 NHL Draft

Finnish forward recorded 14 points with Karpat in the Finnish Professional League (Liiga) last season

by LA Kings @LAKings / LAKings.com

The LA Kings selected forward Rasmus Kupari with the 20th overall pick in the first round of the 2018 NHL Draft.

"Blakey [Rob Blake] has really stuck to our guns with regards to what we saw last year with [Gabe] Vilardi dropping and the year he has had," Kings Assistant General Manager Mike Futa said. "We just have to keep adding to our shelves and know we have some good young players coming up. This guy brings an element of speed, his skating is very comparable to the way [Adrian] Kempe skates."

Video: Kings draft F Rasmus Kupari No. 20

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PODCAST: NHL Awards Recap, LA Kings at the 2018 NHL Draft Preview

Reactions to the NHL Awards and some ideas for new awards; plus a 2018 NHL Draft preview with Corey Pronman from the Athletic and Eric K. from Jewels From The Crown

by Jesse Cohen @KingsMenPodcast / LAKings.com

The NHL Awards have been handed out and the 2018 NHL Draft is upon us!

Jesse Cohen gives his reaction to the NHL Awards as well as some ideas for new awards and suggests a new nomination process.

Then, Corey Pronman from the Athletic and Eric K. from Jewels From The Crown help preview the 2018 NHL Draft.

Listen in:

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Top 5 Players Selected at No. 20 Overall in NHL Draft History

The LA Kings have the 20th pick in the 2018 NHL Draft, so Jesse Cohen took a look back to see the history of the No. 20 pick

by Jesse Cohen @KingsMenPodcast / LAKings.com

In the vast history of the NHL, the Draft is still a relatively new wrinkle in the professional hockey industry.

The first NHL Amateur Draft was held in 1963 in Montreal. Before the establishment of the draft, NHL teams could sponsor junior teams and sign junior players to those teams. Players like Bobby Orr, signed to the Oshawa Generals at 14 in 1962, advanced to the NHL through this system.

In 1979, the rules were changed to accommodate players that had previously played for the folding World Hockey Association. The event was renamed the "NHL Entry Draft" and in 1980 the event became public. 

In the subsequent seasons, a surprisingly solid group of players have been drafted No. 20 overall.

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LA Kings Draft Archives: Drew Doughty's 10 Defining Moments

In his 10 seasons with the Kings, Drew Doughty has recorded 102 goals and added 320 assists in 770 games, giving us plenty of highlights to look back at

by LA Kings @LAKings / LAKings.com

As the 2018 NHL Draft approaches, it's time to take a look back at some of the key players that they LA Kings drafted and brought up within their organization.

With their second overall pick in the 2008 NHL Draft, the Kings selected a 6'1" defenseman from London, Ontario.

In his 10 seasons with the Kings, Drew Doughty has recorded 102 goals and added 320 assists in 770 games, giving us plenty of highlights to look back at.


Check out the Top 10 Defining Moments of Doughty's NHL Career:
 
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Through a Mother's Eyes: LA Kings Draft Gabe Vilardi in 2017

It was a moment 20 years in the making for Giovanna Vilardi, even if she didn't see it coming

by Deborah Lew @by_DeborahLew / LAKings.com

If someone told Giovanna Vilardi back in 1997 where her life would lead her in 20 years, she probably wouldn't understand - and not just because back then she didn't speak English.

Giovanna was born and raised in a village in Southern Italy where ice hockey doesn't even appear on Wikipedia's list of top 10 most-participated-in sports. In 1997, she and her Italian-Canadian husband, Lino, moved their son Francesco to Kingston, Ontario, Canada.

Two years later, in 1999, Giovanna and Lino welcomed a second son, Gabriel. Eighteen years after that, Gabe was drafted 11th overall in the 2017 NHL Entry Draft by the Los Angeles Kings.

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LA Kings Announce 82-Game 2018-19 Regular Season Schedule

The Kings, as announced yesterday, open the season at home on October 5 versus San Jose at 7:30 p.m.

by LA Kings @LAKings / LAKings.com

Today, the LA Kings and the National Hockey League announced the club's entire 82-game 2018-19 NHL regular season schedule along with the promotional/giveaway schedule for the season.

The Kings open the season at home on October 5 versus San Jose at 7:30 p.m., presented by McDonald's. Detroit then comes into town on October 7 for a game at 7:30 p.m. before the Kings hit the road for four games.
 

Among the highlights of the 2018-19 Kings regular season schedule:
 
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Drew Doughty Named to 2017-18 First All-Star Team

LA Kings defenseman named to the 2017-18 First All-Star team

by LA Kings @LAKings / LAKings.com

NHL MVP Taylor Hall of the New Jersey Devils, voted to his first career berth on the First All-Star Team, heads the list of players on the 2017-18 National Hockey League postseason All-Star Teams. Hall, who received the Hart Trophy as the League's most valuable player at the 2018 NHL Awards, posted a career-high 93 points in propelling the Devils to a 27-point improvement in the standings and their first playoff appearance since 2011-12.

Joining Hall on the First Team are three other first-time members of the top echelon: defenseman Victor Hedman and right wing Nikita Kucherov of the Tampa Bay Lightning, and goaltender Pekka Rinne of the Nashville Predators. The other two members of the 2017-18 squad are repeat selections: center Connor McDavid of the Edmonton Oilers earns a place for the second consecutive season, while defenseman Drew Doughty of the LA Kings returns to the First Team for the first time since 2015-16.

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Anze Kopitar Wins Second Selke Trophy

LA Kings Captain awarded the trophy given to the forward who demonstrates the most skill in the defensive component of the game

by LA Kings @LAKings / LAKings.com

Tonight in Las Vegas, LA Kings Captain Anze Kopitar won the Frank J. Selke Trophy (Best Defensive Forward) as part of the annual NHL Awards Show.

Kopitar is the only Kings player to win the Selke Trophy. He also won the award in 2016 (that same year he won the Lady Byng Memorial Trophy). This year he is also a Hart Trophy finalist for the league's Most Valuable Player award.

Tweet from @LAKings: To all our LA Kings fans ������ pic.twitter.com/0VO8QLLgVY
 

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