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STANLEY CUP NHL PLAYOFFS

Third-Worst Kings Get Third-Best Pick

May 12, 1997|LONNIE WHITE

The Kings, who had the third-worst record in the NHL, will have the third pick in the draft as the result of Sunday's weighted lottery in New York.

"It would have been nice to win the No. 1 pick," King General Manager Dave Taylor said. "We know that we'll get a real good player with the third pick. . . . We're just glad that we didn't move back to No. 4."

Boston, the league's worst team this season, has the top pick; San Jose, the worst team in the Western Conference, will pick second.

The Kings also have the 15th pick, courtesy of the Wayne Gretzky trade to St. Louis last season, and the third pick in the second round (29th overall). Taylor said they have not ruled out a trade to improve their position, but he considers any package deal to get the No. 1 pick from the Bruins--who also have the eighth pick--unlikely.

According to the NHL's Central Scouting Service, the top four prospects for the June 21 draft are forwards Joe Thornton, Daniel Tkaczuk and Olli Jokinen and goaltender Roberto Longo.

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