With the 2014-15 season in the rearview mirror, the Kings were in need of a solid forward prospect to bolster their core, but there were other options available that might be better than what the team was currently lacking.
The Kings did just that when they acquired the team’s first round selection, the No. 18 overall pick in the 2015 NHL Draft, and the No, 22 pick in 2016 draft.
The 18-year-old forward, Anthony Bennett, was the most obvious pick, but the team also received the No., 37 pick in 2017 draft, which would go on to be used on forward Michael McNiven and goaltender Jordan Weal.
Bennett was the No.-22 pick in 2019 draft, and McNiven, a second-round pick in 2020 draft, was selected by the Dallas Stars in 2021 draft.
After drafting Bennett, the team added defenseman Jake Muzzin and defenseman Ben Lovejoy, and drafted forward Brandon Saad in the first round.
Bennett’s draft pedigree, coupled with his skating ability and skill set, made him a natural fit for the Kings.
The team used that pick to take forward Zachary Fucale, a 6-foot-2, 205-pound forward who has appeared in eight NHL games with the Kings, recording one assist and three penalty minutes.
In an ideal world, the franchise would have used the two picks the Kings received to acquire more scoring forward prospects and added some depth to the lineup, but with the salary cap now sitting at a record-high $67 million, it would be difficult to make the trade of Bennett.
Instead, the decision to move on from Bennett was made by the front office, and while the team is going to be looking to rebuild in the offseason, the organization is confident that the young forwards they drafted will help them improve in the future.