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Season Preview: Los Angeles Kings

A look inside the 2022 BEARD Dispersal Draft with the Los Angeles Kings and its leadership team led by GM and President Emile Lakatos.

The world of sport is like no other. Chaos and order, complexity and simplicity, triumph and despair, all seemingly working together to create the spectacles that we see in front of us.

But what if we could look beyond that, and go into a world where only reason exists?

This is where we come in. We attempt to break down what we see in front of us into its core parts. Combining analytics and on-field tactics, we look to break down and solve the questions faced by some of the biggest teams.

Just like in life, there are no guarantees in sports, variance exists. The difference between success and failure at the very top is often blurry. Through the combined power of analytics and tactics, one can begin to navigate through the fog.

Todays Topic : Inside the Inaugural BEARDS 2022 Dispersal Draft with the Los Angeles Kings and its Leadership Team led by GM and President Emile Lakatos

The League Led by Commish Thomas Gidlow(Canes GM) and Commish Dan Bacon(Hawks GM) had its 1st ever Dispersal Draft.......LA Kings ended up with lucky # 13 in the draft!

Our reporter Kevin Allen (formerly of USA TODAY) has over 30 years of Hockey reporting. He will be interviewing Emile Lakatos the GM and President of the Los Angeles Kings.

Kevin Allen discussing his signing with FTS.

FTS: Please explain what your team strategy was going into the draft....

Kings: We know at #13 we could go in different directions depending on what happens from #1 to #12. We realized early on where this draft was going and decided if Vasilevsky was available that we would take him as he is probably the #1 goalie in the draft.

Once we drafted him and watched the players drafted we realized that we had to have a defensive team to compete with the offensive players taken. We also discussed about how much experience we needed to have on the team.

For the most part we decided on an older team with a lot of experience. We also looked at the youth packages available and went early with a really good prospect package that included (highly expected to make the Kings roster in a couple years):

Brandt Clarke(D),

Linus Karlsson(C),

Samu Tuomaala(RW)

Simon Johansson (D)

FTS: So getting back to your drafted players, what happened next...

KINGS: We ended up with Jacob Trouba, Phillip Danault, Adam Larsson, Claude Giroux and Ondrey Palat to build around the rest of the team. Once we completed the draft we had to asses our team and see where we could make trades to improve our team.

Early on we decided to trade away most of the 1sts and 2nds we had from 2022 to 2025 as we wanted to go all in for season #1. We also knew we had a great prospect pool that we think will be able to replace some of the older players as they retire or move on due to Free Agency.

However we also drafted players that had more than a 1 year contract as we did not want to have a huge turnover in the 1st couple of years. We also had the salary cap to track as well to leave us room for more players.

FTS: What was it that made you want to trade for players such as Mikhail Sergachev and Viktor Hedman?

KINGS: Well I think it’s obvious why we wanted them on our team. We think that this top 4 group of defencemen (Hedman, Trouba, Sergachev and Larsson) stack up very nicely against any teams top 4. We think we can win most of the close games 3-2 and 2-1 with our focus on defence.

FTS: what does the future hold for the Kings?

KINGS: We think we drafted a great group of prospects that were available for the 2022 entry. Especially these 3:

Anton Levtchi

Arber Xhekaj

Pavel Regenda

FTS: These players seem to have talent. What are the expectations of these 3 players?

KINGS: We expect them to be challenging for rosters spots next year and the following year.

Conclusion from FTS as we looked at the analytics of the roster and the prospects.

The Kings Prospects: Top 10 can keep up with the other teams top 10. After that the talent starts dropping off. The Kings will need these youngsters to step up after this year to challenge for roster spots.

The Kings Goalies: Vasilevsky needs to play a lot of games. Wedgewood is a decent back up. If Vasilevsky gets injured this team is going to be in trouble.

The Kings Defencemen: the top 4 and even top 6 is as good as any other group. We think that as long as they stay healthy they should keep the goals allowed and shots allowed down to a minimum. They will contribute on offense especially on the power play.

The Kings Offense: We think this is going to be a question mark for the team. The top line of Phillip Danualt, David Perron and Claude Giroux is one of the best lines in the league. Will it be enough to win games?? This is where the 2nd line must contribute in order for the Kings to make the playoffs. The 3rd and 4th lines seem to be capable of scoring and defending.

Our conclusion: This team should and will make the playoffs. If the Kings remain healthy heading into the playoffs they should make it to the Western Semifinals......After that we will have more to come when we assess the Kings Playoffs.

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