Social media was abuzz on Sunday regarding a possible Jakob Chychrun trade to Los Angeles. We were hounded with questions from every direction about when it would happen and who was involved.
Reality is, there wasn’t really anything new to report. During a Kings Of The Podcast episode over All Star Weekend, we broke down what a potential deal would likely look like. As we noted at that time, all of our sources indicated LA’s two top-of-the-food-chain prospects Quinton Byfield and Brandt Clarke were off the table. We’re not a rumor site, so we aren’t going to feed into all the speculation out there. However, for context – one of our favorite words on KOTP – below is some information to think about as you read and hear a lot of noise in the hockeyverse.
Arizona is said to want 3-4 assets for their star defenseman. One of those pieces is believed to be a first round draft pick, while the others should be ‘first round equivalent’ prospects. So, what does that mean for LA?
For starters, we’ve heard LA isn’t interested in trading their 2023 first rounder; especially after missing out on having a 2022 first round selection due to the Kevin Fiala trade with Minnesota last summer. That means, the Kings would most likely be offering a 2024 first round pick in any potential deal. Considering LA is on the rise, that should be a late first round pick. Would that be enough for Arizona?
As for the players – again, for context – what could the Kings and Coyotes potentially be discussing?
Start with this list:
It’s not as simple as, ‘Arizona, go ahead and select the two or three players you want and let’s close the deal.’ Each player comes with additional considerations. For starters, Kupari (even though he’s a former first round pick) and Grans probably don’t have enough cache yet to move the needle. Additionally, Vilardi is an RFA this summer and due for a healthy raise given his output this season. Turcotte has had some injury issues, how does that impact his value, if at all? Kaliyev could score 20 goals this season and he hasn’t even seen top-6 minutes. What’s his future upside?
In general, the Kings would hate to part with any of those players. Each is an important piece to the overall puzzle. In Turcotte, they have a player who is unlike nearly every other prospect in the pipeline. His skillset is unique. Ditto for Kaliyev with his lethal one-timer. How many times have we talked about Vilardi being the prospect with the highest of high-end skill?
Then, there are the defensive questions. If Arizona is losing a defenseman, wouldn’t they want one back in return? If so, and they hold to the first round equivalent, is that Bjornfot? He is out of waivers next season, so either LA or Arizona will need to have an NHL roster spot available for him come October. That’s a lefty for lefty swap. Could be good for Arizona, not the ideal situation for LA. As noted continuously for the past year, the Kings need to clear room on the right side. They already have Durzi playing on the left due to their current log jam and needs. Plus, they have Spence and Clarke coming quickly. Durzi is the most NHL-ready blueliner in the system. Scouts know what he can do now having watched him last year and thus far this season. He’s also signed to a very favorable contract for one more season – always an important aspect to a trade.
Losing Durzi wouldn’t be easy for LA. He’s proven to be extremely valuable since stepping in last season. He provides offense, toughness, and versatility. That contract could also help LA balance their salary cap concerns for next season.
There is also the ‘other teams’ factor. LA isn’t the only club angling for Chychrun. For example, If the Kings were able to package Turcotte, Durzi, and a 2024 first round pick, would that be enough for the Coyotes? Or could another team beat that offer?
And then GM Rob Blake also has to consider other moves needed. Chychrun, as good as he is, isn’t the piece that is going to put LA over the top. There are more moves needed this offseason. Two of Blake’s biggest moves of late have been via free agency (Phil Danault) and the Fiala trade (a two asset deal; one prospect and one first round pick). If Arizona wants a fourth asset to complete a Chychrun deal, would he be willing to use so many chips on one player? Should he be willing? It could likely be argued either way. However, don’t discount the fact that Chychrun is at the top of the board when it comes to LA’s needs (i.e. the type of player, the contract, his age, etc.). There is quite a drop off to the next tier of left shot defensemen they could potentially target at the moment.
If it took four assets to get Chychrun, would it be worth it considering they’d have him under contract for this season and the next two years, as well? Sometimes you have to overpay for what you need. In that sense, the Kings overpaid to get Rob Scuderi in 2009. He later helped them win in 2012, so it worked out that time.
If a deal to acquire Chychrun is Turcotte, Durzi, and a first round pick, it’s probably a great hockey trade for both sides.
If nothing materializes between the two clubs because they couldn’t agree on a fair price, it’s not the end of the world. Blake will continue to work on improving the Kings now and over the summer. This isn’t an all-in, have to do it type season. The future is still very bright.
Now, if Arizona was willing to include goaltender Karel Vejmelka, the entire scope of any deal changes dramatically.
NHL RADIO REPLAY: Mayor’s Minutes – Hoven on Chychrun and How Kings Will Navigate the Trade Deadline
What Would Jakob Chychrun Cost the Kings, and Should They Do It?
Note to webmasters/reporters: When recapping news or interviews from this site please remember to include a link to www.MayorsManor.com
Phil Pivovaroff says
When they talk about possibilities in a trade, what about others like Francisco Pinelli, Samuel Fagimo, Jack Hughes, Alex Laferriere, Kim Nousiainen, Samuel Helenius or Martin Chromiak. In the explanation it was said first round draft pick or equivalent. Maybe I am falling in love with our projects but where you were picked is important on draft day.
Scott Nichol says
Well stated article. Maybe its ignorance, but from my standpoint, it is hard to justify the Durzi, Turcotte, First price tag. Part of that may be that I am undervaluing Chychrun. I see so much upside in those two players, and it will be important to have actual prospects down the line as well. One thing to consider is that all this talent is going to need to get paid at some point. The best offset for that is continued talent development. Creating large gaps in the pipeline can be problematic. Still, maybe he is worth it. I guess we will have to trust Blake and Luc.
Keep the info coming. Any word on Villardi’s return?
The truth is even with Chychrun the Kings are still a little short of being the true contender. It isn’t worth gutting the future if you’re still short of the being a true contender.
Great article ! One thing I like to hear some elaboration on is how and why Turcotte is unlike any other of our prospects? I don’t disagree, I just don’t know how is he is different and would like that info. As far as the trade, it seems that when certain players are in trade talks for a long as Chychrun has, when the deal finally takes place the player rarely lives up to the hype. I think we should pass on Chychrun if we have to give up so many high end prospects. Also, barely anyone is talking about how injury prone he is.
And his offensive numbers are through the roof ? I think he may be overvalued and if we have to give up what Arizona wants, we will deeply regret it in the next few years.
I would much rather package Spence than Durzi. Durzi and Spence have similar skill sets except Durzi has at more grit, and we desperately need that ! Like another commenter said, who cares “where” some of our prospects were drafted at !!! Our scouting department found some gems in later rounds and our development staff has really added value to a lot of players not mentioned by MM above. We have tons of other prospects that should at least be in this Kings/Arizona trade discussion beyond the ones being talked about in the media. Chromiak, Thomas, Madden, Fagemo, prospects mentioned that are still in junior or overseas???. Arizona is rebuilding, why wouldn’t they be looking at “ALL” our prospects ? We have a Huge cookie jar of great prospects. Don’t let Arizona win with the ransom they are asking !!! Yes this isn’t an “all-in” year I guess, but we do need to consider that as our prospects get better each year…..Kopitar and Doughty get older.
Just say no to Chychrun says
I really hope the Kings DO NOT get Chychrun. I get it I have heard it for 2 years now. Vilardi I wouldn’t mind the Kings trading, but Bjornfot I believe next year can do it. 21 years old. No offense, but with Durzi, Walker, Clarke in 2 years (24-25 season), and Spence looked great last season. He is an NHL defensemen.
In summer maybe Blake does the deal and Chychrun will do his usual and get hurt. I understand the contract and cap, but with all the new signings (Anderson, Moore, Fiala) I don’t see how you could fit him in. Some players need to go before they lose trade value, and if it’s for Chychrun I personally think the Coyotes with the trade unless it’s guys to free up cap space.
Walker or Roy would need to be part of the deal and Vilardi plus Spence. Bjornfot must stay in my eyes. Moverare is an AHL defenseman, so Bjornfot needs to play. If Todd dislikes the 21 year old that much than I guess he goes and if anyone gets hurt then you bring up Clarke and then same problem too many RD and too young.
He can be added to the head cases with zero confidence.
No more #1 draft picks especially for a 25 year old injury prone LD from Arizona (AHL team in the NHL). I don’t see the trade taking place at all. Anyone else from a decent team and I’m all ears, but the trade deadline media is lazy. Not you Mayor, just the donkeys that keep talking about Chychrun like he has done anything at all in his career except play for a team fighting for a new arena.
We will see, but I predict NO TRADES come Friday. And summer you can throw out names, but the defense is solid! After the Quick/Peterson games where Durzi and Walker were struggling that is all gone. The team is fighting for the 1st seed in the Pacific. Why in the world would you move anyone at this point of the season except for guys that won’t be coming back like Lemieux and probably JAD. I rather see Kupari up than see JAD or Lemieux. Grundström is solid and if we get Arizona’s best defensemen and the Kings give up all the prospects for him he better stay healthy!
Next season, no Edler and replace him with Bjornfot. That saves money and let’s a LD number 1 draft pick play and work on his game. As you always say, it takes defenseman longer than forwards, and I couldn’t agree more. That’s 100% true and if he becomes a Sekera than I it’s that much more painful.
I’m very happy with the current roster minus Lemieux. I like all 3 goalies, defensemen, and forwards. We will see and I appreciate the article, but I disagree with the trade rumors and how that will make the team way better when the team realistically will be stuck at the cabin, unable to move anyone if there is an injury or if somebody has a bad season. Thank you again Mayor and I sure do think this team is very tight and making a move at the TD could ruin the team. 2nd place with 74 points in 61 games. No reason to make a move now. In summer, after the playoffs, we will all see what the team needs. Solid defense (Anderson) is what I feel the team could add. SUMMER, SUMMER, SUMMER. No movement this week.