It’s official, the Michael Amadio era in Los Angeles has come to an end. After going unclaimed on waivers last week, Kings GM Rob Blake was able to swing a deal earlier today sending the 24-year-old forward to Ottawa in exchange for defenseman Christian Wolanin.
According to Blake, this was an opportunity to address a positional need for the organization, as they have an abundance of centers at both the NHL and AHL levels. It also strengthens their options on the left side of the D, especially with Olli Mattaa still out and his return date unclear (listed as week-to-week).
In Wolanin, LA has acquired a 26-year-old with 58 games of NHL experience. One of those games came against the Kings in January 2019 (pictured above wearing No. 86), where he scored a goal. His only other time at Staples Center would have been last March, in the final game for the Kings and Senators before the entire league was shutdown.
Originally selected in the fourth round (107th overall) at the 2015 NHL Draft, Wolanin spent the next few years at the University of North Dakota before turning pro and singing his ELC with the Senators in 2017. While splitting time between Ottawa and AHL Belleville since then, Wolanin also was part of Team USA at the 2019 IIHF Men’s World Championship.
At North Dakota, he was known for scoring big goals and was the first defenseman to lead the program in scoring since James Patrick. Wolanin was also their main shootout guy, seemingly scoring at will with a near endless supply of new moves. One of his most memorable shootout goals came in a game vs. Miami off of this slapshot:
Interestingly enough, prior to college, he was teammates with Brendan Lemieux in the USHL. Just a few days ago, the Kings sent a fourth round pick to the Rangers for Lemieux.
Scouts say, Wolanin is a great skater who thrives in big moments.
For now, he will report to AHL Ontario. They’re off until Wednesday. However, he’ll likely need a few days of protocol anyway.
For those wondering why the Senators didn’t simply claim Amadio off of waivers last week (and/or why the Kings didn’t claim Wolanin when he was recently available), it’s all about the contracts. As we’ve noted several times, the Kings are tight up against the NHL limit and only have so many spots for additions. This deal allows each team to flip one contract for another.
Staying on the contract front, the Kings are now in an interesting position. Wolanin’s current deal expires this summer. If he plays 13 more NHL games this season, he will be an RFA. If not, he’ll become a UFA.
With the Seattle Expansion Draft coming up, it’s also should be noted, Wolanin would require protection if the Kings wanted to prevent him from being exposed to the Kraken.
Wolanin had been wearing No. 24 with Ottawa of late. Thus, he’ll most likely need a new number in LA due to Lias Andersson wearing that so far this season.
Perhaps the happiest person when it comes to jerseys will be Kale Clague. His preferred No. 10 is finally available in Los Angeles.
We will be constantly updating this throughout the day.
McLellan was asked about the Kings recent acquisition of dman Christian Wolanin and said he largely didn't know much about him since his days at North Dakota. Although he did reference the "bloodlines," as his dad Craig played 700 NHL games with New Jersey, Quebec, and Colorado.
— John Hoven | The Mayor (@mayorNHL) March 30, 2021
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