California teams, Vegas all plan for future at NHL Draft
Over the June 21-22 weekend, the NHL Draft was staged in Vancouver, B.C., with all three California teams and the Vegas Golden Knights stocking up for the future.
The Anaheim Ducks selected seven players, the Los Angeles Kings nine, San Jose Sharks five and the Golden Knights a total of eight prospects.
The Ducks chose forward Trevor Zegras (U.S. NTDP, first round, ninth overall), forward Brayden Tracey (WHL’s Moose Jaw Warriors, first round, 29th overall), former Los Angeles Jr. Kings defenseman Jackson LaCombe (USHL’s Chicago Steel, second round, 39th overall), defenseman Henry Thrun (U.S. NTDP, fourth round, 101st overall), forward Trevor Janicke (USHL’s Central Illinois Flying Aces, fifth round, 132nd overall), defenseman Will Francis (USHL’s Cedar Rapids RoughRiders, sixth round, 163rd overall) and defenseman Mathew Hill (OHL’s Barrie Colts, sixth round, 183rd overall) in Vancouver.
“I really wanted to go to whatever team wanted me the most,” Zegras said. “I’m thrilled with Anaheim. I’m really happy to be a Duck.”
“I can’t describe it,” Tracey added. “Something special having my family there. It’s really emotional. I play with a big heart. I have a big chip on my shoulder, and I can produce offensively.”
The Kings also had two first-round picks, selecting forward Alex Turcotte (U.S. NTDP) fifth overall and Swedish defenseman Tobias Bjornfot (Djurgarden) 22nd overall.
“I can’t even believe it; I am at a loss for words,” said Turcotte, whose uncle, Jeff, coaches with the Jr. Kings. “I am just so excited. I am happy they believe in me and I can’t get wait to get to camp.”
“Bjornfot is a two-way, strong skating defender,” said Kings head European scout Christian Ruuttu. “He can play the power play and penalty kill and is a leader on his team highlighted by the gold medal this past spring, the first gold medal Sweden has won in the Under-18 Worlds. Each player we talked to about Tobias was him being a leader on their team. He is a special character player as well.”
Los Angeles also scooped up forward Arthur Kaliyev (OHL’s Hamilton Bulldogs, second round, 33rd overall, pictured), forward Samuel Fagemo (Frolunda HC, second round, 50th overall), goalie Lukas Parik (Liberec, third round, 87th overall), defenseman Jordan Spence (QMJHL’s Moncton Wildcats, fourth round, 95th overall), defenseman Kim Nousiainen (Kalpa, fourth round, 119th overall), defenseman Braden Doyle (Lawrence Academy, sixth round, 157th overall) and forward Andre Lee (USHL’s Sioux Falls Stampede, seventh round, 188th overall).
San Jose chose defenseman Artemi Kniazev (QMJHL’s Chicoutimi Sagueneens, second round, 48th overall), forward Dillon Hamaliuk (WHL’s Seattle Thunderbirds, second round, 55th overall), forward Yegor Spiridonov (Magnitogorsk, fourth round, 108th overall), forward Timur Ibragimov (St. Petersburg, sixth round, 164th overall) and defenseman Santeri Hatakka (Jokerit, sixth round, 184th overall).
The Golden Knights kicked off the draft taking forward Peyton Krebs (WHL’s Kootenay Ice) in the first round (17th overall).
“It’s surreal; I was trying to hold in the tears,” Krebs said. “It’s a special moment for me and my family and I’m just really thankful to be able to be blessed by the game and I’m just very excited to get to know Vegas and all it has to offer, so I’m very excited.”
Vegas also drafted defenseman Kaedan Korczak (WHL’s Kelowna Rockets, second round, 41st overall), forward Pavel Dorofeyev (Magnitogorsk, third round, 79th overall), defenseman Layton Ahac (BCHL’s Prince George Spruce Kings, third round, 86th overall), forward Ryder Donovan (USHL’s Dubuque Fighting Saints, fourth round, 110th overall), goaltender Isaiah Saville (USHL’s Tri-City Storm, fifth round, 135th overall), forward Marcus Kallionkieli (USHL’s Sioux City Musketeers, fifth round, 139th overall) and forward Mason Primeau (OHL’s North Bay Battalion, fifth round, 141st overall) in Vancouver.
Photo/Brandon Taylor/OHL Images
— Matt Mackinder
(July 26, 2019)