REPORT: Kings Top Prospect Set to be Traded

Zykov Valentin KingsAlthough the NHL is in trade freeze period, that does not stop junior hockey clubs from making deals. In fact, with the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL) trade window open from December 19 to January 6, 2015, it appears Baie-Comeau Drakkar is about to make a significant trade. From what we’ve gathered, forward Valentin Zykov looks to have been dealt to the Gatineau Olympiques.

Rated as the top prospect in the entire Kings organization, Zykov was originally scheduled to join his native Team Russia in the upcoming World Junior Championship – the top tournament for players under 20 years old, and generally considered a key showcase for NHL prospects – however, he has been sidelined for the nearly months with an injury. Limited to just 13 games this season, he has still maintained his point-per-game pace, recording five goals and nine assists for 14 points.

Originally selected in the second round of the 2013 NHL Draft, Los Angeles thought so highly of the future power forward, they traded three picks to get him. At the time, he was coming off a brilliant debut season, where he posted 75 points (40 goals, 35 assists) is 67 games and was named the QMJHL and CHL Rookie of the Year.

Interestingly, Zykov has only recently been cleared to begin skating again, as he is recovering from a hernia. The original plan called for him to return to game action next weekend.

Currently, Baie-Comeau is seventh in the QMJHL standings with 42 points, while Gatineau’s 34 points have them sitting a distant 15th. However, from what we’ve been told, Gatineau believes they have a roster that could go far in the playoffs this season. [UPDATE: per JF Plante, Buffalo Sabres prospect Vaclav Karabacek (second round pick, 2014) could be one of the players Gatineau gives up in the deal.]

As noted in a recent article on a different Kings prospect, the Kings generally view Zykov and center Nick Shore as the top two players from their prospect camps over the past two seasons. Regardless of the QMJHL trade, Zykov will remain Los Angeles property, as they inked him to a three-year entry level contract last May.

UPDATE: Jan 2, 2015 – Zykov trade has been completed for Vaclav Karabacek and Gatineau’s third round pick in 2016.

3 MUST-READ ARTICLES:

LA Kings 2014-15 Prospect Rankings: The Coveted Top 5

Valentin Zykov: He’ll Steal Your Heart, You’ll Thank Him For It

Rob Blake and Glen Murray on MM rankings and Kings top prospects

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