Another day, another trade by Kings GM Rob Blake, as he officially dealt longtime defenseman Alec Martinez to the Vegas Golden Knights in exchange for a 2020 2nd round pick, and a 2021 2nd round pick.
This trade expands LA’s draft capital in the next two NHL drafts, as the Kings own their own two 1st round picks, their own two 2nd round picks, Vegas’ 2nd in 2020, Vancouver’s 2nd in 2020, their own 2nd in 2021, St. Louis’ 2nd in 2021, their own two 3rd rounders, Columbus’ 3rd in 2020, and Toronto’s 3rd in 2021 (which is likely going to become a 2nd if Jack Campbell wins just three more games with the Leafs this regular season). This stockpile is only set to increase, as Rob Blake is still working the phones with three days remaining until the trade deadline.
Los Angeles currently sits in dead last in the Western Conference with a 22-34-5 record, including a 4-6 record in their last 10 games. They have a legit chance to earn one of the top two selections in the 2020 NHL draft, which could net them one of Alexis Lafrenière or Quinton Byfield. Either one would contribute positively to the Kings’ rebuild as early as next season and would be franchise-altering players regardless of where they are drafted.
Alec Martinez has a respectable career AB score with a -1.52, however, he is coming off of his fourth straight negative season, which included a career-worst -5.98 score in 2016-17. His penalty taken/drawn ratio is an impressive 5:5 considering he is averaging two minutes more per game than his previous career average of 19:24. His giveaway/takeaway ratio is below average at a 31:7, and he is -6 +/- wise on the season. What made Martinez more expensive than some of the other defensemen dealt so far this deadline season was the fact that he has an extra year of term remaining on his $4 million per year contract.
Los Angeles certainly isn’t done dealing yet, as there are still three days remaining until the February 24th trade deadline, and it’ll surely be interesting to see what else GM Rob Blake decides to do. The future is definitely bright in LA, as Kings fans saw 2017 1st round pick Gabriel Vilardi make his NHL debut last night and score a goal ten seconds into his first NHL shift. His contribution helped the Kings beat the Florida Panthers at Staples Center 5-4 in regulation and prevent the Panthers from retaining the 3rd playoff spot in the Atlantic Division. Much more to come.