While the LA Kings are still in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, it will not be long before Rob Blake and the Kings’ brass turn their attention to the next wave of talent in the 2022 NHL draft.

Scheduled to take place July 7-8, the Kings will not hold a lottery pick for the first time in several seasons. The final draft order is still yet to be determined, but the early projections have the Kings selecting around the 19th overall spot.

Given their organizational need at the position, Bleacher Report’s Jake Rill has the Los Angeles Kings taking left-shot defenseman Pavel Mintyukov with their first pick.


  • D.O.B – November 25, 2003
  • Age – 18
  • Place of Birth – Moscow, Russia
  • Draft Eligibility – 2022
  • Height – 6-foot-1
  • Weight – 192 lbs
  • Position – Defenseman
  • Shoots – Left


LA Kings Pavel Mintyukov 2
Credit: Elite Prospects


  • Ranked #20 by FCHOCKEY
  • Ranked #16 by TSN/BOB McKENZIE
  • Ranked #13 by MCKEEN’S HOCKEY
  • Ranked #7 by TSN/CRAIG BUTTON
  • Ranked #6 by NHL CENTRAL SCOUTING (NA Skaters)
  • Ranked #13 by SPORTSNET
  • Ranked #24 by RECRUIT SCOUTING
  • Ranked #38 by DOBBERPROSPECTS
  • Ranked #28 by SMAHT SCOUTING
  • Ranked #18 by THE PUCK AUTHORITY

Scouting Reports

Pavel plays a mature game. He’s a very polished player, coming over from Russia and playing in a new league with new teammates. You don’t always know how well or how quick a player is going to adapt and he’s a guy that has come in and has been an impact player immediately for Saginaw. He’s a top-pairing defenseman that plays in every situation, crunches minutes, excels on the power play, plays penalty kill and is on the ice at crucial points of the game. For a draft-eligible player to really have that type of impact is impressive. Mike G. Morreale/NHL Central Scouting

Mintyukov is a gambler, willing to make high risk plays from the blueline. The fact is he checks off all the boxes necessary to pull them off: Skating, stick handling, vision, hockey sense, you name it, he’s got it and he quite possibly end up as the best offensive defenceman in the OHL draft class. – OHLWriters

Mintyukov is a two-way defenseman who is able to make the most of his well-rounded and versatile tool kit with his smarts and reliable decision making. He’s more than capable at both ends of the ice and is as steady a presence as they come on the blue line, which makes it easy to see Mintyukov as a potential top four at the NHL level who would be capable of playing both special teams. – NHLEntryDraft


“[Mintyukov’s] an elite skater, can do everything with his head up and is really evasive,” Saginaw coach Chris Lazary said. “When he’s under pressure he can manipulate the situation and manipulate the outcome for possession play, so his desire to want to make plays and hold pucks is good. I just think he’s got that elite calmness under pressure and his skating ability, combined with that, makes him special.

“I’ve told him that if he wants to be the unicorn type of player who can play well offensively and defensively, he needs to close down those 1-on-1 battles and arrive angry. I think he’s come a long way in that area, but he does have that flare to want to get north of the puck a little too early sometimes. We’re telling him to take that little extra second to make sure everything’s OK and it’ll go a long way.” – NHL.com