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LA Kings Select Quinton Byfield With the 2nd Overall Pick in 2020 Draft

No. 2 North American-Ranked Skater is Highest Drafted Black Player in NHL History

The LA Kings selected forward Quinton Byfield with the second overall pick in the first round of the 2020 NHL Draft.

Byfield, who was ranked second overall among North American skaters by NHL Central Scouting, is now the highest selected Black player in NHL history, surpassing Seth Jones (2013) and Evander Kane (2009), who both went fourth overall.

“Quinton is an exceptional young man and talented player with a very bright future,” said Vice President and General Manager Rob Blake. “We’re proud to be adding him to our organization and look forward to the next stages of his development and a promising career in LA.”

Byfield, 18, registered 82 points (32-50=82) and a plus-26 rating in just 45 games last season with the Sudbury Wolves of the Ontario Hockey League (OHL). He tied for fifth in the league in points-per-game (1.82) and led the Wolves in points, assists and plus/minus while finishing second in goals.

The 6-4, 215-pound center has posted 143 points (61-82=143) and a plus-38 rating in 109 regular season games over his two seasons in the OHL, along with eight points (3-5=8) in eight postseason appearances. During that span, Byfield was named to the 2019-20 OHL Third All-Star Team, served as team captain in the CHL Top Prospects Game, was awarded the 2018-19 CHL Rookie of the Year, OHL Rookie of the Year and chosen to the OHL First All-Rookie Team after finishing the season with 61 points (29-32=61) in 64 games.

The Newmarket, Ontario native has represented Canada on multiple occasions, most recently at the 2020 IIHF World Junior Championship where he was the youngest player named to their gold medal-winning roster. He also competed at the 2019 Hlinka Gretzky Cup (silver) and the 2018 World Under-17 Hockey Challenge.

The Kings, who secured the second overall selection this year by winning one of three drawings at the 2020 NHL Draft Lottery, have now picked second four times in franchise history, including 1981-Doug Smith, 1986-Jimmy Carson and 2008-Drew Doughty. It is also the fifth time LA has picked in the top two positions after selecting Rick Pagnutti first overall in the franchise’s inaugural season in 1967.

The Kings are slated to have 10 more selections tomorrow on Day 2 of the 2020 NHL Draft. For a list of remaining picks, as well as additional draft content coverage, please visit the LA Kings 2020 Draft Hub, Presented by GEICO.

No. 2 North American-Ranked Skater is Highest Drafted Black Player in NHL History

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DRAFT TRADE: Acquired rights to No. 55 pick Jay Scrubb, Luke Kennard and Justin Patton in 3-team trade including Pistons and Nets. Rights to No. 57 pick Regggie Perry sent to Brooklyn.

DRAFT TRADE: Acquired rights to No. 33 pick Daniel Oturu from Minnesota Timberwolves in exchange for 2023 second-round pick from Pistons and draft rights to Mathias Lessort

Outlook
When the Clippers signed Paul George and Kawhi Leonard in 2019, LA showed it was clearly all-in on the championship chase. Because that duo joined a team stocked with solid players, the Clippers’ needs — then and now — are few. Power forward Montrezl Harrell, their best interior player, will be an unrestricted free agent this offseason and the betting money says he signs elsewhere. Compounding matters is the Clippers sent their 2020 first-round pick to the Knicks in trading for Marcus Morris (also a free agent at season’s end). If they can’t find a replacement for Harrell, there’s a need for shooters and spacers on this team to help George and Leonard, if they can find that skill with the 57th pick.

A Stat That Matters
26.0 — In the playoffs, the Clippers were 26.0 points per 100 possessions better with Ivica Zubac on the floor (+17.7) than they were with him off the floor (-8.3). That was the second biggest differential among 75 players who played at least 200 postseason minutes. He made half as many shots from outside the paint in 21 playoffs games (80) as he did in 62 regular-season games (160).
John Schuhmann

The Way To Go
The options are slim when choosing only late in the second round, which is where the Clippers will find themselves unless they trade up. If the basketball gods are smiling on the Clippers, then they’ll be the landing spot for Oregon guard Payton Pritchard. Largely projected as a mid second-rounder, Pritchard was all set to use the NCAA tournament to boost his stock, but the pandemic erased those plans. The Pac-12 Player of the Year averaged 20.5 ppg as a senior and could find a niche in the NBA. LA might need to trade up a few spots in the second round, though, if they are eyeing Pritchard.

Under Contract
G: Patrick Beverley
G: Rodney McGruder
G: Landry Shamet
G: Lou Williams
G/F: Terance Mann
F: Paul George
F: Kawhi Leonard
F/C: Mfiondu Kabengele
C: Ivica Zubac

Free Agents
G: Reggie Jackson (unrestricted)
F: Marcus Morris Sr. (unrestricted)
F: Joakim Noah (unrestricted)
F: Patrick Patterson (unrestricted)
F/C: JaMychal Green (player option)
F/C: Montrezl Harrell (unrestricted)
>2020 Free Agent Tracker

Recent Draft History
2019: Mfiondu Kabengele (27)*, Terance Mann (48)
2 018: Shai Gilgeous-Alexander (11)*, Jerome Robinson (13)
2017: Jawun Evans (39)*, Sindarius Thornwell (48)*

La pick DRAFT TRADE: Acquired rights to No. 55 pick Jay Scrubb, Luke Kennard and Justin Patton in 3-team trade including Pistons and Nets. Rights to No. 57 pick Regggie Perry sent to Brooklyn. ]]>