Busy Day 2 for Ducks, Kings
LOS ANGELES -- Devante Smith-Pelly wasn't happy he had to return to Staples Center on Saturday morning after waiting through the entire first round of the NHL draft on Friday without hearing his name called, but the Anaheim Ducks didn't make him wait long.
The Ducks selected the 6-foot, 211-pound right winger from Mississauga-St. Michael's Majors of the Ontario Hockey League with the 42nd overall pick of the draft. Smith-Pelly scored 29 goals and 62 points in 60 games last season and joined Cam Fowler and Emerson Etam as three players the Ducks didn't anticipate seeing on the board when they were on the clock.
"I'm a power forward player," said Smith-Pelly, who anticipates playing in Mississauga next year. "I'm a two-way guy who likes to finish all his checks. A guy who's got pretty decent hand speed and can score. I can play any kind of role that the coach asks."
In one season with the Majors, Smith-Pelly, 18, increased his goal scoring from 13 to 29 and his points jumped from 25 to 62. He also improved on his plus/minus, which was at a minus-4 as a rookie and moved up to a plus-27 last year when he scored 31 goals.
"I think I play like [Los Angeles Kings captain] Dustin Brown, a guy who finishes all his checks and scores goals," he said. "He's a team guy and a good leader and that's a kind of a guy I've always wanted to play like."
A few picks later, the Kings made their second trade of the draft, moving up two spots by trading their No. 49 and No. 109 picks to the Colorado Avalanche and drafted center Tyler Toffoli from the Ottawa 67's of the OHL with the 47th pick. Toffoli, 18, totaled 37 goals and 42 assists in 65 games last season.
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Over a 47-game span in 2009-10, Toffoli averaged more than a point and a half per game; only three other players in the OHL averaged more: Taylor Hall (selected 1st overall this year), Tyler Seguin (selected 2nd overall this year) and Nazem Kadri (selected 7th overall in 2009).
"I'm an offensive forward," Toffoli said. "I can score a lot of goals and make plays happen. When I have the puck, I can see where people are, and I have really good vision."
The Kings then took center Jordan Weal from Regina of the WHL with the 70th pick. Weal, who is listed at 5-10, 162 pounds, was ranked 30th among North American skaters by NHL Central Scouting and had 35 goals and 67 assists in 72 games with Regina last season.
Weal was the first 17-year-old to surpass 100 points in more than a decade in the WHL and is only the fifth CHL player in the last 10 years to record 100 points in his second season of junior eligibility. The other four were John Tavares (selected 1st overall in 2009), Steven Stamkos (selected 1st overall in 2008), Sam Gagner (selected 6th overall in 2008) and Seguin.
"I'm a quick player," Weal said. "I feel I really make the players around me better, with my vision and my skills. I also take a lot of pride in my D-zone. I'm a guy that doesn't like to get scored on very much. I take a lot of pride in that, and it's something I'm going to keep building on."
The Kings continued to wheel and deal later in the draft, trading their third-round pick (No. 79) to the Toronto Maple Leafs for a 2012 third-round pick.
After failing to make a trade several times over the past two days, Anaheim made its first trade of the draft in the fifth round, sending forward Mike Brown to the Toronto Maple Leafs for the 122nd overall pick of the draft which was used to select Christopher Wagner from South Shore of the EJHL. Wagner, a 6-foot, 200-pound right winger, had 34 goals and 83 points in 44 games last season.
Brown, who was acquired last year from the Vancouver Canucks, totaled six goals in 75 games with Anaheim last season.
Ten picks later, the Ducks chose Swedish defenseman Tim Heed, a 5-11, 165-pounder who posted 37 points in 32 games with Sodertalje. As a member of Sweden's U-19 national team Heed, 19, earned eight points in six games.
In the fifth round the Kings selected defenseman Kevin Gravel from Sioux City of the USHL. Gravel, an 18-year-old native of Marquette, Mich., is listed at 6-4, 185 pounds and had three goals and three assists in 53 games last season for Sioux City.
The Kings then finished the draft by making one more deal, trading their No. 169 and No. 199 picks to the Atlanta Thrashers to move up and take Russian forward Maxim Kitsyn, who played in the KHL last season, with the No. 158 pick. Kitsyn, 19, is listed at 6-2, 194 pounds and was ranked No. 6 among European skaters by NHL Central Scouting. Kitsyn, who actually was at Staples Center after making the trip to Los Angeles from Russia with his agent Alexander Tuyjnych, had only one goal and one assist in 21 games last season.
"We knew he would be very low in the draft, because he had a very bad season," said Tuyjnych, who hopes Kitsyn can play junior hockey in North America next season. "But he also had an injury and he didn't play for two months. After the World Juniors, he played very well. In the junior division, he was a top goal-scoring guy."
The Ducks, who drafted six players Saturday, completed their day by taking center Andreas Dahlstrom with the 161st overall pick, defenseman Kevin Lind in the sixth round with the 177th overall pick and right wing Brett Perlini in the seventh round with 192nd overall pick.
Arash Markazi is a reporter and columnist for ESPNLosAngeles.com.
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