By Lisa Dillman
8:13 PM EDT, June 29, 2013
A future most valuable player was sitting there when it came time for the Ducks to make their pick, at No. 28, in the 2003 draft.
Now, in the name of Corey Perry, can lightning strike twice?
In two words: Very doubtful.
"That draft was off the charts," said Ducks General Manager Bob Murray, chuckling.
"It usually takes something early to happen in the draft to make things happen," said Murray, who was a scout with Vancouver in 2003. "For us to get Cam Fowler, it's because [Ryan] Johansen went fourth. Things have to happen to get lucky."
Murray and the Ducks were able to select the young defenseman when Fowler dropped to No. 12 in the 2010 entry draft at Los Angeles, events set in motion when the Columbus Blue Jackets opted to grab Johansen at No. 4.
Barring late movement, the Ducks and the Kings won't be in the limelight at Sunday's entry draft at Newark, N.J. Colorado owns the top pick and Avalanche officials are indicating they will take forward Nathan MacKinnon. Until recently, conventional wisdom had the Avalanche targeting defenseman Seth Jones. Jones, the son of former NBA player Popeye Jones, played junior hockey for the Portland Winter Hawks.
The Ducks have a first-round pick (No. 26 overall) and the Kings do not, a byproduct of last year's Jeff Carter trade. Columbus has three first-round picks, 14th, 19th and 27th. The latter is from the Kings.
The Kings have 10 picks, including three in the fourth round. They don't select until No. 57, in the second round.
"Given our history, it's safe to say we will try to move up," Kings GM Dean Lombardi said of making a deal to get into the first round. "Whether we will or not, you can't assess it until you are at the table. Again, at least going into this draft, we have a lot of chips to play, if we want 'em.
"We'll probably try, but I'm not too optimistic. We'll probably do most of our juggling in the middle rounds."
Murray said the Ducks probably would not try to move up from No. 26.
"We're comfortable where we are at," he said. "The top of the draft is very good. You get to eight or nine and it's very good. …You could do just as well at 36 as you could at 16.
"You never know. We've done OK with the later picks. We can't complain."
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