The Los Angeles Kings now have their first draft pick of 2012 to go along with their shiny new Stanley Cup. On Friday, the Kings participated in the 2012 NHL Draft and used their No. 30 overall pick to select left winger Tanner Pearson.
Niesy at Jewels From the Crown has this to say about Pearson:
Described as a gritty, defensively-responsible forward, he is also a gifted passer who surprised everyone by becoming one of the OHL's leading scorers last season.
While other teams are more intrigued with the possible upside of 17-year-olds, this pick fits a lot of patterns shown by the scouting staff. The Kings have chosen players passed over by previous drafts before (Wayne Simmonds in 2007, Andrew Campbell in 2008, and Andy Andreoff in 2011). Futa is a former GM with a lot of connections in the OHL, and that league is one of their favorite fishing holes. Most importantly, almost everything about this player shouts "LA Kings style hockey." He's billed as a two-way player who gives full effort in every shift.
Many talented, highly ranked players remain on the board. But after winning the Cup with a certain philosophy, they probably feel confident seeking out more players in that mold.
Pearson is said to possess an extremely keen hockey mind. The Kings will hope that the 19-year-old can live up to his potential.