As for the return, the LA Kings would be getting a 25-year-old defenseman in Ryan Graves, who just signed a three-year extension in October. However, he comes at a team-friendly $3.2M cap hit through the 2022-2023 season. Graves is a left-shot defenseman, which would certainly push MacDermid out of the top-six playing time.
Graves tallied nine goals and 17 assists in 69 games last season while logging an NHL-best +40 rating. He’s an excellent shot-blocker and a big, physical presence that would be openly welcomed along the LA Kings blue line. The question becomes what the Kings would do with Mikey Anderson, Kale Clague, and Tobias Bjornfot once Walker and Roy return to the lineup. It’s definitely a valid question and one that I don’t immediately have an answer for.
Graves has a ton of versatility, as he’s capable of playing both sides and has seen time everywhere on the top-six defenders.
Even though the Avalanche are off until February 11 due to COVID protocol issues, J.T. Compher was promoted to the team’s first line center in their last game. Under normal circumstances, where everyone is healthy, Compher is a bottom-nine forward capable of putting up some points. He’s listed as a center but has also seen time at both winger positions and put up back-to-back 30-point seasons in 18-19 and 19-20.
In this trade, he would also be a valuable asset on the Kings’ powerplay, tallying a goal and four assists a year ago on the Avalanche’s second PP unit. This trade has plenty of pros and cons for both clubs, but hypotheticals are fun to breakdown, especially as the LA Kings try to make the pieces of the puzzle fit.
Another piece to this is who the LA Kings would leave exposed to Seattle’s expansion draft? Quick and Carter were long-rumored to be candidates for the Kings.