Following up on the news MayorsManor broke via twitter, the Los Angeles Kings have acquired defenseman Andrej Sekera from the Carolina Hurricanes. Although the trade call has not taken place with the NHL just yet, to officially finalize things, we have been told the deal is for a first round draft pick and defensive prospect Roland McKeown.
Eliotte Friedman of Hockey Night in Canada later added the draft pick is conditional.
If LA makes playoffs this year, first rounder is this year. If LA misses, first rounder is next year
— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) February 25, 2015
In Sekera, the Kings are getting a 28-year-old, left shooting blueliner. He has played in 470 NHL games after first starting his career with the Buffalo Sabres. In 57 games with Carolina this season, he has 19 points (2 goals, 17 assists), eight penalty minutes, and is a minus-7.
His connection to the Kings front office is strong, in that he played for Mike Futa, current Kings VP, when the two were in the OHL (Owen Sound).
Although he is set to become an unrestricted free agent this summer, the Kings traded for him with the intention of re-signing him to a long-term extension. He is currently in the final year of a four-year deal that has an average cap hit of $2.75 million.
He will also need a new jersey number in Los Angeles. His 44 from Buffalo is currently taken by Robyn Regehr (coincidently, his former Sabres teammate), and Sekera’s No. 4 in Carolina has already been retired in Los Angeles. Just two years ago Carolina sent Jamie McBain and a draft pick to Buffalo for Sekera. Now, the two players will become teammates on the Kings.
Meanwhile, Alec Martinez is expected to be placed on IR (retroactive to Feb. 8) to create a spot on L.A.’s 23-man roster for Sekera. Eventually, Derek Forbort, recently called up from the AHL, is expected to be sent back to the Manchester Monarchs when Martinez returns to action.
On the flip side, GM Dean Lombardi dealt away McKeown, a player originally selected last June with a second round draft pick, 50th overall, received from the Vancouver Canucks for Linden Vey (something Rob Blake spoke about here).
In our recent Top 10 rankings of the Kings prospects, we provided his evaluation of McKeown:
Put bluntly, McKeown has had a mediocre season, somewhat capped off by not making Team Canada’s World Junior team. After captaining their under-18 team to a gold medal, he was considered by many to be a shoe-in for the WJC, but it didn’t happen. Is it the end of the world? No, not really. In fact, the decline in his offensive output is to be expected after being told he needs more structure to his game. We remain confident in the process. Let him build the structure and then the offense will come again. Currently, the wrap on McKeown is that he doesn’t compete the right way, or enough, or consistently. Once he learns to compete the proper way, there is a big ceiling on his future. If the Kings Development Staff can get through to him over the summer, there is a strong possibility he could be a real mover up this list next season.
For more on his omission from Team Canada and his lack of statistical punch this year, see the profile I did here on McKeown for LAKings.com just a few months ago.
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