LA Kings: Three way-too-early defensemen to target in 2021 offseason

(Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
(Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) /
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LA Kings Colton Parayko
LA Kings (Photo by Rich Lam/Getty Images) /

3. Colton Parayko, RD (Ryan)

The Blues let free agent defenseman Alex Pietrangelo walk, but they replaced him with Torey Krug. Along with Justin Faulk‘s extension, the St. Louis Blues are approximately $1.5M over the salary cap entering the 2021 season. General manager Doug Armstrong will figure out a short-term measure to be compliant with the $81.5M salary cap this year. Next offseason could be more challenging with Jaden Schwartz and Tyler Bozak hitting unrestricted free agency.

A similar situation to Dumba — Colton Parayko could be among those moved to clear cap space. At 6-foot-6, 230 pounds, the 27-year-old is a big, physical presence who can also put some points up. He’s regularly flirted with 30-point seasons even in the shortened 2019-2020 campaign. Parayko logged a marvelous 55.2 expected goals-for-percentage last season while having an integral part in the Blues’ first power play unit.

3. Esa Lindell, LD (Russell)

The Dallas Stars were the surprise team in the return to play. The Stars’ defense was a key reason why Dallas advanced to the Stanley Cup Final, losing out to the Tampa Bay Lightning in six games. While they look to return that solid defensive corps for next season, the long term future is still very much up in the air.

After signing a six-year deal with an AAV of $5.8M last year, Esa Lindell is the only defenseman locked up long term for the Stars. But will that leave enough space to lock up the likes of John Klingberg, Jamie Oleksiak, and the eventual big-time deal that will be owed to Miro Heiskanen? Esa Lindell could find himself to be the odd man out.

Next. All signs point toward a December 28 training camp. dark