According to a report from NHL insider Darren Dreger of TSN, the Los Angeles Kings stand to factor into a lot of trade discussion around the league between now and the 2021 Expansion Draft scheduled for July 21st. Dreger reports that the Kings are looking to be a "big player" this upcoming offseason and, in particular, are looking to acquire two top six forwards.
Check it out:
With expansion draft looming, there’s more trade discussion developing around the NHL. The LA Kings could be a big player this offseason. The Kings are hoping to acquire two top 6 forwards through trade or free agency.
Am I completely jumping the gun here by linking the Kings to Buffalo Sabres captain Jack Eichel? I mean... there are very few teams in the NHL whom have the assets and the cap space needed to acquire Eichel, but the Kings are absolutely one of them. They have a plethora of draft picks and young players to ship to the Sabres in a potential deal and should have no problem absorbing Eichel's $10 million annual salary.
Now, do I expect the Sabres to trade Eichel for spare parts? Not a chance, but the truth is that the Kings have some LEGIT prospects that project to turn into NHL stars. These aren't your run of the mill prospects we're talking about. Gabe Villardi, Quinton Byfield, Alex Turcotte and Arthur Kaliyev are all blue chip prospects and could really help a rebuilding Sabres franchise in short order. And if the Sabres are looking to ship out other young core players like Rasmus Risolainen and former 2nd overall pick Sam Reinhart, then there's a real opportunity for GM Kevyn Adams to amass the best young group of players in the entire NHL. That might be a tough pill for Sabres fans to swallow after years and years of a slow and painful rebuild, but I'm of the belief that this is a franchise that's in desperate need of a fresh start. The rebuilds under Tim Murray and Jason Botterill were unmitigated disasters, there's no denying that fact. Sure they ended up with stars like Eichel, Reinhart and 1st overall pick Rasmus Dahlin... but where did that get them? Time to push the hard reset button.
As for the Kings, they look to be a team on the rise and with the veteran support they have from players like Anze Kopitar and Drew Doughty, there's reason to believe that they can push fast forward on their own rebuild. Stay tuned.