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Smart Trades, Draft Built Kings

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There will probably be more attention paid to who signs where on July 1 when hockey’s silly season begins anew, but the Los Angeles Kings are the latest example of why what happens the week before will likely have more impact on shaping future Stanley Cup champions.

The Kings captured the Stanley Cup for the first time in franchise history Monday night, beating the New Jersey Devils in six games and reminding everyone in the sport about the importance of the NHL Draft. Of the 20 players who dressed for the Kings in Games 3-6, 10 of them are "homegrown" players -- guys who were drafted and developed by the organization.

Every Stanley Cup winner since the work stoppage in 2004-05 ushered in the "new NHL" has featured a core of homegrown talent. Some, like the ...

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