The Los Angeles Kings were the lucky winners of the NEFHL Draft Lottery held in Toronto on Friday evening. The Kings now hold the first overall draft pick in the 2016 Entry Draft. "We're very excited to be in possession of this incredibly valuable asset. It is a major building block for our franchise moving forward," said Kings GM Toni who was in attendance in Toronto.
Hours after the announcement of their fortune, Toni began fielding offers for the draft pick. "We are in the business of winning hockey games. If a proposal comes along that puts us in a better position to complete that task then we are absolutely going to explore it." The Kings also hold five second round draft picks in this year's draft.
Toni is no stranger to controversy when it comes to the entry draft. In 2005 he unloaded the first overall pick to the St. Louis Blues for a package of dispersal draft picks which played a major role in him selecting four times in the first fourteen overall picks of the dispersal draft. He went on to build the most dominant team in NEFHL history around a core of Rick Nash, Dany Heatley, Brad Richards, Simon Gagne, and Teemu Selanne. St. Louis selected Sidney Crosby with the pick they received in exchange. Toni was fired a number of years later after failing to show up to an Entry Draft.
Whether Toni is serious about moving this year's pick remains to be seen, but one thing is for certain: he has a lot of work to do. The Kings finished 34 points behind the 29th place Flyers this year while setting a record for lowest number of points recorded in a season. "We will be better. We have to be."