And Dean Lombardi has committed the Kings to doing just that. They had a tremendous first round tonight. In Drew Doughty, the Kings selected a defenseman who, alongside Jack Johnson, can lead the Kings power play for the foreseeable future. Thomas Hickey will figure into that as well. And in case you thought those guys were too small, they dealt Cammalleri, took Colton Teubert with the 13th pick, and added a third rounder next year in the process. Teubert is 6'3", and has knack for cracking skulls that dare skate through the crease.
So the Kings future includes the top goalie prospect from juniors, the top college goalie from last season, and a top four defense corps of Jack Johnson, Thomas Hickey, Drew Doughty, and Colton Teubert. The only problem I see with that group is that it only includes two Americans.
Last season the Kings, as a team, were bad. But they were fun to watch, at least for me, because they had guys I could pay attention to that were interesting players. Johnson, Anze Kopitar, Dustin Brown, and Patrick O'Sullivan. This year they'll work Teddy Purcell, Matt Moulson, and Brian Boyle into the mix. Hickey may make the big club, and Doughty is very likely to be in L.A. next season.
The Kings aren't going to win the cup next year. They may not even make the playoffs. But the tide is turning, and the team is moving in the right direction. Now let's sit back and see what Dean does with the other boatload of picks he has in this draft.