Friday, June 15, 2007

LA Kings 2001 Draft: Who? Why? Where is He Now?

I wish I could say that the 2000 Draft was the first of many great Drafts to come, but that’s not true. Here’s the list of draft picks from the 2001 Draft:

  1. Jens Karlsson (R1)
  2. David Steckel (R1)
  3. Michael Cammalleri (R2)
  4. Jaroslav Bednar (R2)
  5. Henrik Juntunen (R3)
  6. Richard Petiot (R4)
  7. Terry Denike (R5)
  8. Tuukka Mantyla (R5)
  9. Cristobal Huet (R7)
  10. Mike Gabinet (R8)
  11. Sebastien Laplante (R9)
How in the world did we use our first pick to draft someone who eventually never played in the NHL or even for any team in North America? And quite frankly, looking at his statistics, he hasn’t even done all that well in the Swedish Elite League. The only way this pick could have ended up worse is if the guy just decided to “retire” the day after he got drafted. What a waste of a first round pick.

Dave Steckel is another example of a stellar first round draft pick. Why the hell did we pick him in the first round?? Arrrgh!

I’m convinced that the only reason why
Michael “Bite Size” Cammalleri was taken in the second Round, and not the first, is because this Draft was before the “New” NHL (jeez, I really hate that term). At 5’9” and 185 lbs (according to his profile) he’s definitely a player, like Briere, who has excelled with (or as a result of) the new rule changes. His first two partial seasons with the Kings were “eh”, yet he performed very well when he was sent down to Manchester. His breakout season was during the lockout when he played for the Monarchs and notched 109 points in 79 games and was 4 goals shy of 50. His next season with the Kings was respectable (55 points) and his most recent season was spectacular as he recorded 80 points. He must have drank some long-lasting Gummiberry Juice because he certainly acquired some supernatural powers. If you’ve never seen him play, look for his signature move: shooting while going down to one knee. Yeah, it looks just as odd as it sounds but it works almost every time. He’s become a sniper with that shooting style so I’m all for it too. Let’s just hope the Kings can re-sign him to a reasonable salary. And in fairness to the Kings, I hope my little Cammy doesn’t get too greedy.

Let’s just skip
Jaroslav Bednar, Henrik Juntunen, Richard Petiot, Terry Denike, and Tuukka Mantyla and skip right to the next recognizable name.

I’m not sure what’s more surprising about
Cristobal Huet: the fact that he was picked in Round 7, that the Kings let him go, or that he has become a number one goalie. I don’t know what I think about Huet and I’ll let the Habs fans duke it out over whether or not he’s worth it.

I don’t have anything to say about
Mike Gabinet and Sebastien Laplante so, [insert your own sarcastic comment].

With the exception of Cammalleri, the 2001 Draft was a bust. Can this Draft be deemed successful if only one pick out of eleven pans out for the Kings? Because I triple heart Cammalleri: Yes!

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