The Los Angeles Kings have acquired left wing Brendan Lemieux from the New York Rangers in exchange for a fourth round draft pick in 2021.
Entering the day, the Kings had two fourth round picks in 2021. We have confirmed, this trade involves the LA pick, not the Calgary pick (acquired when Derek Forbort went to the Flames).
Lemieux, the son of former NHL forward Claude Lemieux (who is now his agent), was originally selected in the 2nd round of the 2014 NHL Draft by Buffalo. As a junior player, he was with the OHL’s Barrie Colts for three years before being traded to the Windsor Spitfires for his final season — where he was teammates with Gabe Vilardi.
After turning pro, Lemieux spent two years in the AHL before his first full NHL season with Winnipeg in 2018-19.
In his two most recent seasons with the New York Rangers, Lemieux posted 18 pts (6G, 12A) in 59 GP last year — as well as 111 PIM — and had 7 pts (2G, 5A) in 31 GP in 2021.
This trade will add something to the Kings roster they’ve been lacking among their forward group — a physical, gritty, in your face style.
LA currently has 4-6 players in the bottom of their current lineup that don’t have much grit. This provides them with some different options with line combos. It could also allow coach Todd McLellan to have a physical presence in his lineup without playing Kurtis MacDermid on defense.
McLellan also loves his power plays, and Lemieux is pretty good at drawing penalties out of the opposition.
Brendan Lemieux, acquired by LA, is an unexceptional physical fourth liner apart from his surprisingly strong penalty impacts. #GoKingsGo pic.twitter.com/7HPJfGiR4E
— JFresh (@JFreshHockey) March 27, 2021
One scout with a Canadian market team has positive things to share with us about the trade, noting that Lemieux has “calmed down” quite a bit from a few years ago and referred to him as a “great straight line skater.”
With COVID protocols, team officials tell us they don’t expect to have Lemieux available for most likely seven days. They’re awaiting official word from the league on the timing. He could possibly be available as early as the Kings game on Saturday, March 3 vs San Jose. More likely, Lemieux would be available for the game on Monday, March 5 vs. Arizona.
The #LAKings acquired 25 y/o F Brendan Lemieux from #NYR for '21 4th.
-Yr 1/2 $1.55M Cap Hit
-On expiry, RFA w/ $1.65M Qualifying Offer & 1 yr from UFA elig.
-7P in 31 GP
-Rep'd by Claude Lemieux @4sportshockey https://t.co/fjkvWOKK8D
— PuckPedia (@PuckPedia) March 28, 2021
The 25-year-old winger is signed for one more season at an AAV of $1.55M. He’ll be an RFA in the summer of 2022.
He has worn jersey No. 48 throughout his 162 games played in the NHL with both Winnipeg and New York.
Lemieux would need to be protected or exposed in the upcoming Settle Expansion Draft. We took at look at which players the Kings are likely looking to protect here.
In an interesting tidbit, former Kings forward Warren Rychel traded for Lemieux during his very successful run as an OHL General Manager. More with Rychel is linked below, where he talked about several of the Kings current prospects, as well as shared some memories from his time in LA.
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Douglas Sun says
The possibility that Blake is setting up a larger deal intrigues me. But this strikes me as another one of his opportunistic, “Well, we’re not giving up much” deals.
If it was just a matter of adding grit to the forwards, then why not bring up Imama?
John Hoven says
Imama’s skating is not considered NHL level. Even though he’s probably earned a game or two, meanwhile Lemieux has a proven track record in the NHL.
Neil Shafton says
So does not playing MacDermid” mean MacD goes to the healthy scratch or Taxi Squad now? The majority of MacD playing would be relegated to only when there is an injury or a need for another enforcer?
With the current 3-4 lines and how well Moore/Grundstrom/Anderson-Dolan have played will Lemieux be placed on the 3rd line? It seems unnecessary to break up that 4th line or move them up.
John Hoven says
MacD can’t go to the taxi squad without going on waivers first. Not likely, as explained here https://mayorsmanor.com/2021/02/expansion-draft-la-kings-protection-list-power-rankings-feb-23/