“One of the most special tall forwards in years.”

That’s the calibre of player the Saints have drafted in young spearhead Max King, according to Jay Clark of the Herald Sun.

St Kilda used its prized pick No. 4 to pounce on the supreme talent at the 2018 NAB AFL National Draft on Thursday night.

A product of the Sandringham Dragons, King boasts a rare mix of height, athleticism and elite skill, traits that have had recruiters salivating for more than two years.

The agile 204cm giant was widely touted as the likely No. 1 pick after his bottom-age year at under-18 level, talk that went into overdrive following the opening round of the TAC Cup this year.

King took the game by storm, booting eight goals and reeling in nine marks in a performance that turned heads across the industry.

But it’s not just his powerful ability in the air that has drawn attention throughout his junior career.

His deft ball-handling at ground level and ability to cover the ground are truly unique traits for a player of his size.

As has been well documented, the star Dragon suffered a season-ending ACL injury in April, cutting short hopes of teaming with twin brother Ben in the NAB AFL Under-18 Championships.

But that injury was the instigator for the bayside local to undertake his rehabilitation at RSEA Park, thanks to Sandringham’s partnership with the Saints.

St Kilda Head Physiotherapist Andrew Wallis has played a key role in King’s recovery, meeting the 18-year-old on a weekly basis to oversee his rehabilitation.

King was a regular face in the Saints’ gym, where he has methodically gone about building strength in his legs and adding size to his frame.

The selection sees a boyhood dream become a reality, with King – a life-long Saints fan who grew up idolising Nick Riewoldt – set to don the red, white and black in 2019.

“He’s a really special talent, and just an unbelievable athlete for his size,” Saints GM of Football Simon Lethlean told saints.com.au.

The way Max has approached his rehabilitation here at the Saints has been first-class, and we’ve been able to get an insight into the quality of person he is..

“We brought in two top 10 talents last year in Hunter Clark and Nick Coffield, and it’s really exciting to have another player of that calibre joining the club.

“The first step for him is continuing to complete his rehab, and our medical team will be incredibly diligent in that regard. Ultimately, it’s about the sustained impact he can have on our club for the next 10 years.