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Hockey

Kings pick center Alex Turcotte, defenseman Tobias Bjornfot in Round 1 of NHL draft

2019 NHL Draft - Top Prospects Clinic
Alex Turcotte pauses during the top prospects clinic Thursday in preparation for the NHL draft in Vancouver, Canada. The Kings took the center Friday with the fifth pick.
(Kevin Light / Getty Images)

A look at the Kings’ two picks in the first round of the NHL draft on Friday:

ALEX TURCOTTE, Round 1 (fifth pick), center, shoots left.

Why Kings picked him: Their success is typically center-driven and Turcotte fits the mold as one of the best two-way forwards in the draft. He models his game after future teammate Anze Kopitar and Jonathan Toews of the Chicago Blackhawks. The No. 2 center behind Jack Hughes with the U.S. national development team, Turcotte was injured for part of last season but had 27 goals and 35 assists in 37 games. Turcotte, 18, is headed to Wisconsin to play under former Kings forward Tony Granato.

TOBIAS BJORNFOT, Round 1 (Pick 22), defenseman, shoots left.

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Why Kings picked him: The Kings need to build organizational depth on defense, and Bjornfot, 18, should help as the club’s first defenseman taken in the first round since Derek Forbort in 2010. Bjornfot’s biggest attribute is his leadership. He has served as captain for Sweden in international competition. He’s considered to be a steady, two-way defender. Bjornfot is signed for two more seasons with his Swedish club.

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curtis.zupke@latimes.com

Twitter: @curtiszupke

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