Los Angeles Kings: Top 2012 Draft Needs, Targeted Prospects and Predictions

The Los Angeles Kings are in the Stanley Cup Final for the first time in nearly 20 years, and they are fortunate to have a complete team with very few weaknesses.

With a number of talented prospects already in their system, the 2012 NHL draft won't be as important to Los Angeles as it will be to many other teams.

When the Kings acquired Jeff Carter from the Columbus Blue Jackets at the trade deadline, they gave up defenseman Jack Johnson and a conditional first-round pick. The Blue Jackets can either take the Kings' first-round pick this year or next year. Since the Kings will pick 29th or 30th, the Blue Jackets will likely take next year's first-rounder.

One thing the Kings may look to do in the draft is add some power forwards to their organization so they can allow Dustin Penner and Jarrett Stoll to leave in free agency this summer.

With star goaltender Jonathan Quick expected to get a massive contract this summer or next, the Kings can't be signing players like Penner and expect to re-sign their franchise netminder to the deal he wants.

Let's look at who the Kings should target in the draft and in upcoming free agency and make a prediction for their first pick.


Biggest Needs

The Kings don't need a starting goalie with Quick entering the prime of his career, but finding a backup could be a need for Los Angeles soon.

Since Quick is set for a huge raise, the Kings might not be able to re-sign young backup Jonathan Bernier to the contract he will want next summer when he's a restricted free agent.

Bernier is a talented player who could start on several teams, so he will want to start sooner rather than later. The Kings could use him as trade bait since young goalies are quite valuable, but a backup goaltender is certainly something the team could address with their first selection.

Like I said above, drafting so...

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