Kings trade Connaughton, Hodgson from Philadelphia for Peterson, Walker, Grant, Pick

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The LA Kings acquired defenseman Kevin Connaughton and forward Hayden Hodgson from the Philadelphia Flyers in exchange for goaltender Cal Peterson, defenseman Sean Walker, defensive prospect Helge Grans and a 2024 second-round draft pick. The moves are part of a three-team trade involving the Columbus Blue Jackets, with the Kings retaining 30 percent of Ivan Provorov’s salary, as the Russian defenseman joins the Blue Jackets. Complex moves are a bit more complicated than that, requiring more transactions, but the bones of the situation are above. Also included in the trade was a first-round pick that the Kings surprisingly traded to Columbus as part of the deal that acquired Vladislav Gavrikov and Jonas Korpisalo from the Blue Jackets in March. That pick now trades hands again, moving to the Flyers.

Quick analysis
From the point of view of the kings, the motives appear to be very clear.

The Kings agreed to pick up nearly $2 million of Provorov’s contract, leaving $7.65 in salary cap space between Peterson and Walker. The Kings will free up between $4 million and $5.65 million in salary cap space in the process, depending on where Connaughton and Hayden Hodgson fit on the depth chart. Walker and Peterson were both excellent prospects, marking their first signings as college free agents. The Kings are in a different place now, however, they are much tighter on the cap than they have been the past two summers. As for Walker in particular, the Kings are very deep on the right side of the depth chart at back and have three young, right-shooting defensemen — Brandt Clark, Sean Durzi and Jordan Spence — who are NHL ready and able to play. NHL games now. Walker has been solid in the second half of the season, giving the Kings an opportunity to work in younger players at lower levels and free up cap space to use him elsewhere.

As for Grans and a second-round draft pick in 2024, the Kings are paying him to release salary. For Peterson, he now has a chance to go back and play in the NHL this season, hoping Philadelphia will give him that path. The departure of Pheonix’s Copley has left him with no chance to rebuild his stock from a season ago, as Peterson spent December-April in the AHL with Ontario, a situation the Kings may not have had in mind when they initially made the move. How it all worked out makes it difficult to move the contract and $5 million in cap space, so he added Grans and his draft pick. Grans in 2010 He was a second-round pick in 2020, but will play deep in the draft pool as noted above. Even on a strong development track, Granz falls behind players like Clark and Spence, complicating his NHL path with the Kings. Maybe a more obvious way in Philadelphia, wishing him the best of luck there. A second-round pick, while another draft pick the Kings won’t have, is worth a trade. The Kings are a cap team and are willing to move draft picks to compete now. This is part of that process and in the grand scheme of things, the price to pay isn’t all that high.

In Connaughton and Hodgson, the Kings are getting two players with NHL experience, although both spent most of last season in the AHL with the Lehigh Valley Phantoms. Connauton has 360 career NHL games with Dallas, Columbus, Arizona, Colorado, Florida and Philadelphia, most recently the Flyers in the 2021-22 season. He is a veteran defenseman who excels at both ends of the ice and comes in at just $762,500 at the NHL level. Hodgson is a promising development story, coming through the ECHL to make his NHL debut in the 2021-22 season. He has an income of $800,000. Both players have one season remaining in the summer of 2024 and both players will become unrestricted free agents.

Looking forward, this deal leaves the Kings with roughly $12 million to $13.5 million in cap space, with the salary cap only adding $1 million to the projected cap space, depending on where they place the acquired players. It could be more. The Kings still have the same players to re-sign as they entered the day, on both the restricted and unrestricted free agent fronts, but they now have the cap space and flexibility to bring those players back. This deal is interesting on many fronts, but when you look at the assets around the NHL that have been moved in such deals in recent years, you definitely get the feeling that the Kings have done a good job of freeing up space. To do this, work without a future loan. With that foresight, knowing that this agreement was made to arrange transactions during the summer, he seems to have done exactly what was intended at a price favorable to kings.

An official statement from the team –

Connauton, 33, who most recently played for the Lehigh Valley Phantoms of the American Hockey League (AHL), posted 15 points (3-12=15) in 63 games last season. Over nine NHL seasons, he recorded 80 points (28-52=80) in 360 career games for the Flyers, Blue Jackets, Arizona Coyotes, Colorado Avalanche, Dallas Stars and Florida Panthers. Connaughton’s best NHL seasons came in 2017-18 with Arizona where he had a career-high 11 goals and 21 points (11-10=21) in 73 games and 21 points (9-12=21) in 2014-15 against Dallas and Columbus.

A native of Edmonton, Alberta, Connaughton is a veteran of 322 career AHL games with 133 points (42-91=133) over seven seasons. Prior to his professional career, the 6-2, 205-pound blueliner played one season with the Vancouver Giants of the Western Hockey League (WHL) in 2009-10, posting 72 points (24-48=72) in 69 games. Games. His 72 points are the most by a rookie and defenseman in the WHL, while his 48 assists remain the most by a WHL rookie. His lone 72-point WHL season earned him CHL All-Rookie Team and WHL (West) First All-Star Team honors.

Hodgson, 27, spent most of the 2022-23 season with the Lehigh Valley Phantoms of the AHL, collecting eight points (3-5=8) and 83 penalty minutes (PIM) in 44 games. He also suited up for the Philadelphia Flyers for one contest. The 6-2, 208-pound forward has hit in seven career NHL games with the Flyers, scoring three points (1-2=3) in an 11 p.m. Hodgson scored his first NHL goal and first career multi-point effort (1-1=2) in his NHL debut on March 24, 2022 against the St. Louis Blues.

A native of Windsor, Ontario, Hodgson is a veteran of 131 career AHL games with the Lehigh Valley and Cleveland Monsters, scoring 45 points (25-20=45) in 188 PM. He spent four seasons (2017-21) in the ECHL, scoring 44 points (22-22=44) with 209 PIM in 98 games with the Florida Everblades, Manchester Monarchs, Wichita Thunder, Reading Royals, Wheeling Nailers and Utah Grizzlies. Hodgson collected 14 points (7-7=14) with 43 PIM in 21 games for HC Detva in the Slovakian Extraliga during the 2018-19 season and appeared in six playoff contests. Before turning pro, Hodgson played five seasons in the Ontario Hockey League (OHL) with the Erie Otters, Sarnia Sting and Saginaw Spirit, accumulating 157 points (87-70=157) and 331 PM in 294 OHL games.

Peterson, 28, split the 2022-23 season between the Kings and Ontario Province, going 5-3-2 with a 3.75 goals against average (GAA) and .868 save percentage (SV%) in 10 NHL games. With a 16-20-4 record with 2 shutouts, a 2.88 GAA and a .904 SV% in 40 AHL games, Ontario returned to the Calder Cup Playoffs berth. In the year After signing with the Kings as a free agent in 2017, Peterson has played in 101 career NHL games, posting a 44-42-10 record with a 2.92 GAA and .905 SV%. In 156 starts against the ring, Peterson posted a 69-68-17 record with a 3.20 GAA and .904 SV%. The Waterloo, Iowa native also represented the United States at three IIHF Men’s World Championships (2023. 2021, 2017), helping the U.S. to a bronze medal and earning the 2021 Goalkeeper of the Year honor.

Walker, 28, has 13 points (3-10=13) and 36 PM in 70 contests this season, a career high for a single season game played. The 5-11, 195-pound defenseman has appeared in two games for the Kings, making his Stanley Cup Playoff debut this spring. In the year An undrafted college free agent signed by the Kings in 2017, Walker played parts of six NHL seasons for the Kings, scoring 67 points (16-51=67) in 232 career NHL games. He tallied 45 points (13-32=45) in 86 AHL contests with the Kings’ primary development partnership, Ontario State. Internationally, the Keswick, Ontario native represented Canada at the 2021 IIHF World Championship, posting two assists (0-2=2) and 12 shutouts in 10 tournament games en route to a gold medal.

Grans, 21, had success in his second season on the ice with Ontario State last season, scoring nine points (2-7=9) ​​in 59 games. In his two seasons with Ontario, Grans collected 33 points (9-24=33) in 115 career AHL games. Originally drafted by the Kings in the second round (35th overall) of the 2020 NHL Draft, Grans also spent three seasons with the Malmo Redhawks of the Swedish Hockey League, totaling 15 points (4-11=15) in 69 games. The native of Ljungby, Sweden represented Sweden at the 2022 IIHF World Junior Championship, collecting four points (0-4=4) in seven games to help Sweden win the bronze medal.



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