NHL News

3 Kings’ Trade Deadline Targets

Jakob Chychrun Arizona Coyotes

The Los Angeles Kings have established themselves as playoff contenders in the Pacific Division, at the very least. They currently occupy the final playoff spot in the division but will need to fight off the Edmonton Oilers and Calgary Flames to hold their position. The team will definitely be buyers at the trade deadline, but what areas can they fix, and which players might be available?

Jakob Chychrun

Seemingly on the trade block for years now, Jakob Chychrun is likely to get moved at this deadline. He would probably be the number one target for the Kings and for other teams who need help on defense. Defensemen with the offensive ability he possesses rarely become available. When they are 24 years old and have a team-friendly contract, they are an incredibly hot trade commodity, especially when the player has been as productive as Chychrun has in his career.

Jakob Chychrun, Arizona Coyotes (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

The Kings definitely have a need on the left side of their defense. Mikey Anderson leads the team in ice time per game for left-hand shot defensemen, and while he isn’t bad by any means, LA could definitely use more depth behind him. Anderson also leads all Kings left-handed defensemen with 11 points, while Chychrun already has 24 points in just 31 games. This could also push Alex Edler out of the lineup, as the 36-year-old Swede has not had a good season and seems to be on his last legs as an NHL player.

Since Arizona is likely to move Chychrun, which will probably lead to a bidding war among several teams. The Kings have a lot of young forwards they could deal to the Coyotes to potentially beat out the other suitors. With the logjam at forward, it makes sense for the Kings to deal from a position of strength, as it’s unlikely that all of these forwards will be able to make an impact with LA in the future. The good thing about Chychrun is that he is still only 24 years old, making it more palatable if the team is going to trade a young player for him.

Another element of the deal is the salary cap. The Kings are only projected to have about $295K in cap space on deadline day and will have less than that to maneuver if they want to swing a deal for Chychrun before the last possible moment. There are only seven teams that could afford Chychrun’s current cap hit, and most of them are not contenders. Any team trading for him will have to get creative to get under the cap, but the Kings especially, because of their need for a goaltender.

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