LA Kings: Would you rather edition, Patrik Laine or Pierre-Luc Dubois?

LA Kings Rumors (Photo by Timothy T Ludwig/Getty Images)
LA Kings Rumors (Photo by Timothy T Ludwig/Getty Images) /

The LA Kings are reportedly interested in Pierre-Luc Dubois but would a trade for Patrik Laine make more sense? Let’s dive in.

A few months ago, the LA Kings were one of the teams that were reportedly interested in acquiring the services of Winnipeg Jets’ winger Patrik Laine. It feels like a matter of time before the 22-year-old is traded, but the question becomes what needs to go the other way.

Reports are also surfacing that the Kings are interested in Pierre-Luc Dubois, who still wants out of Columbus despite signing a two-year contract extension.

“He wants out,” Blue Jacket head coach John Tortorella said. “He spoke to the team. As we do here. He has been honest with the group – I wish he was a little bit more honest, as far as reasons why. I think he needs to speak on that, I won’t.”

The Kings have a healthy prospect pool – one they need to evaluate and develop this season. But recent draft picks in Quinton Byfield, Arthur Kaliyev, and Alex Turcotte are expected to play in either the AHL — or the OHL if their season begins.

Patrik Laine

  • Age: 22
  • Primary position: Winger
  • Entering his fifth season
  • 19-20 season: 28 goals, 35 assists, 63 points in 68 games
  • $6.8M cap hit in 2021
  • Restricted free agent after the 2021 season

Related Story. Why the LA Kings should trade for winger Patrik Laine. light

Pierre-Luc Dubois

  • Age: 22
  • Primary position: Center
  • Entering his fourth season
  • 19-20 season: 18 goals, 31 assists, 49 points in 70 games
  • $5M cap hit in 20-21 and 21-22 seasons
  • Restricted free agent after the 21-22 season

On paper, Laine likely makes more sense, given how deep the LA Kings are up the middle. He’s a proven goal-scorer, which the organization needs, but Dubois has another year before he’ll be paid again.

Los Angeles certainly has the salary cap room, with more financial flexibility opening up after the 2021 season with Ilya Kovalchuk‘s $6.3M cap hit coming off the books.

Regardless of which one the LA Kings trade for, they will have to part with a couple of top prospects. Would they part with someone like Alex Turcotte being the headliner in the deal? That’s the question the organization will have to determine.

But Kings President of Business Operations Luc Robitaille told the guys on Kings of the Podcast the team would make a move if the timing is right.

“If we have the opportunity to get a player in the right age bracket to fit in the direction we are going, we would look at it.”

Eventually, the Kings will have to supplement players in their prospect pool with high-end talent to make another Stanley Cup run. Andreas Athanasiou can score goals, but he is a one-year stopgap. Both Dubois and Laine are young players who would certainly be part of the next great Kings team.