LA Kings GM Dean Lombardi On Prospects Colten Teubert and Brandon Kozun

LOS ANGELES — For any National Hockey League team, drafting and development of young prospects is crucial to their long-term success. But for the majority of their 42-year history, the Los Angeles Kings generally resorted to foolishly trading away their first round draft picks and their best young players for established NHL players who were little more than washed-up has-beens.

That started to change under former general manager Dave Taylor, but the great emphasis on drafting and development has come under current Kings President/General Manager Dean Lombardi, who has built the team’s drafting and player development infrastructure up to what is now regarded as one of the best scouting and development staffs in the league.

Last month, four Kings prospects represented Canada in the 2010 IIHF World Junior Championships in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. Center Brayden Schenn (Brandon Wheat Kings, Western Hockey League), defenseman Colten Teubert (Regina Pats, WHL), right wing Brandon Kozun (Calgary Hitmen, WHL) and goaltender Martin Jones (Calgary Hitmen) helped lead Canada to the Silver Medal, losing to the United States in the championship game.

Lombardi expressed a great deal of pride that four of his team’s young prospects made Team Canada and he talked about Teubert’s and Kozun’s development.

“[Teubert has] made a lot of progress, but he still has a lot to learn,” said Lombardi. “The whole thing about his physical game still has to be channelled in the right direction. You can’t play like the Flyers of the Seventies, so you have to channel that type of aggression. You can’t get away with just running around being physical.”

Indeed, the 19-year-old native of White Rock, British Columbia, who is the captain of the Pats and was one of two Kings’ prospects (Thomas Hickey) to win a gold medal with Team Canada at the World Juniors, is a rath...

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