It's that time of year when NHL teams are either looking for that one surefire prospect that could eventually lead their team back into respectability or looking to stockpile enough prospects and thus find some hidden gems over seven rounds to maintain the overall strength of their farm systems.
The Los Angeles Kings however enter Friday's 2012 NHL Entry Draft in a bit of bind. The Kings own the 30th pick in this years draft as a result of their winning the Stanley Cup, but the question isn't exactly who they will select with that pick as it is whether they will be able to use it altogether. The Kings sent its first round pick to Columbus along with defenseman Jack Johnson in exchange for Jeff Carter, a key catalyst in their Stanley Cup run. The pick though was conditional though, meaning the Blue Jackets reserved their right to either use the pick this year or next year, and Columbus could very well decide to wait until next year to use the pick in the hopes that the Kings come up short of repeating as Stanley Cup champions next season.
Another advantage for the Blue Jackets is that they can wait until the 28th pick to notify the Kings of their intentions to use this year's pick or not, and should they choose this year, the Kings' front office will have a relatively long wait, as they will not pick until the fourth round, when they select 121st. LA also has a fifth-round choice (151st) and two sixth round selections (171st and 181st) and two seventh round choices (183rd and 211th).
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