The Los Angeles Kings turned some heads overnight by making a trade with the Vancouver Canucks. It’s not a major trade, but when you post a headline like this one on the team website...
... people are going to double take.
Of course, that’s not a deal for Nashville Predators defenseman P.K. Subban, one of the most talented and popular players in the entire league. The Kings acquired his brother, Jordan, who also happens to be a defenseman. It’s just a little funny that the team decided to exclude his first name from the headline.
The younger Subban is a bit of a prospect play for Los Angeles. A fourth-round pick by the Canucks in 2013, he’s spent the past two-plus seasons with the team’s AHL affiliate, where he’s put up 77 points in 148 games. This season, the 22-year-old put up five assists in 16 games before the trade.
The Kings already have a very good defense led by Drew Doughty and Jake Muzzin, but Subban could work in as a third-pairing option in the near future. The team has primarily used Christian Folin, Oscar Fantenberg, and Kurtis MacDermid to eat those minutes this season.
In exchange for Subban, the Canucks receive Nic Dowd, a 27-year-old forward who recorded 22 points in 70 games with L.A. last season. He fell out of favor with new coach John Stevens, however, and saw his ATOI dip from 12:27 to 7:57 in 16 games this season. He’s recorded just one assist and 11 shots on goal.
It’s a more questionable deal on Vancouver’s side. The team needed an extra hand with Bo Horvat sidelined by an injury, but Subban hasn’t even gotten a shot in the NHL yet. You’d think the Canucks would’ve wanted to see what he could do at that level before shipping him off for a 27-year-old depth forward. Dowd might help fill in the gaps, but it’s clear from this return that Vancouver was no longer particularly high on Subban.
It seems like a smart low-risk move for the Kings to potentially uncover a decent, cheap blue liner, though, and those are always at a premium in the NHL. So no, “LA Kings Acquire Subban” isn’t that big of a deal even if your synapses started firing off last night. But it’s still an interesting one, and a potentially smart move by Los Angeles.