This is the start of an incredibly busy time for the Los Angeles Kings.
With day 1 of the 2020 NHL draft is in the books and the Kings have two new players in the fold after a trade earlier this week.
The Kings acquired Olli Maatta from the Chicago Blackhawks in exchange for forward Barad Morrison. Maatta, the 6-2, 210 lb defensemen, comes with experience and two Stanley Cups, from which he won while with the Pittsburgh Penguins. He tallied 4 goals and 13 assists for 17 points in 65 games last season for Chicago.
Maatta will not win a Norris trophy or lead the team in points. He will, however, play in all situations, lead by example, provide some offense, and teach the younger defensemen in the system. A quality addition to the left side of the defense without giving up anything really.
The Kings have a number of picks in this year’s draft, and they used one of their picks, 2nd overall, to select the big centerman Quinton Byfield of the OHL’s Sudbury Wolves.
The 6-4, 215 lb center provides the Kings with a huge body and he is yet another highly skilled player down the middle. The pick came as no surprise, as Byfield was projected as the 2nd pick for a while.
As you see by the moves, Rob Blake is not wasting time in getting the right team together to compete for another Stanley Cup, with free agency yet to come. The way the team is shaping up they could very well compete for a playoff spot next season.