Friday, June 25, 2010

Derek Forbort Drafted by the Kings

In the words of immortal WWE play-by-play announcer Gorilla Monsoon, history has just been made at the Staples Center.

No, I'm not talking about at least six incompetent NHL franchises showing why they're so damn incompetent by passing on the best player available when they picked (Cam Fowler).

Instead, I'm talking about the city of Duluth, Minn., which has just seen a native taken in the first round of the NHL Draft for the first time.

Defenseman Derek Forbort -- who played at Duluth East for two years before he joined the U.S. Under 18 National Team -- has been picked by the Los Angeles Kings.

The Kings, who are hosting the draft, pulled off the draft's first trade, moving from 19th up to 15th to select Forbort. They traded with the Florida Panthers to acquire the pick. While many of the fans in attendance probably wanted the Kings to pick local product Emerson Etem, a forward, the Kings did the right thing. They have helped bolster their already-strong blue line for years to come with a big, tough, growing defenseman.

Because of their stockpile of young players, the Kings can afford to let Forbort play at North Dakota for a year or maybe two. That's good news for the Kings, but bad news for the WCHA. Forbort will be a factor with the Sioux and he will do it quickly.

The fall of Fowler and fellow defenseman Brandon Gormley makes it even less likely that UMD recruit Justin Faulk will go Friday night during the first round.

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