LA Kings: Pros and cons of trading for defenseman Vince Dunn

LA Kings (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
LA Kings (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images) /

With the LA Kings needing proven help along the left side of their defense, Blues’ Vince Dunn is reportedly being made available in a trade.

Trade rumors were swirling when Blues’ defenseman Vince Dunn was a healthy scratch against the Golden Knights on January 26 after Dunn didn’t play particularly well against the LA Kings. The 24-year-old blueliner has long-been linked to being exposed for Seattle’s expansion draft, so there could be some incentive for St. Louis to move him before that date arrives.

Jeremy Rutherford of The Athletic indicated the Blues could seek a first-round pick or an NHL equivalent player for Dunn. He also notes the team may be willing to accept a second-round pick with Blues are without a second-round and fourth-round pick in the 2021 NHL Draft.

Bleacher Report recently suggested the LA Kings could be a good trade partner, given their stock of draft capital and an obvious need for an established left-shot defenseman.

"The Kings could use Dunn’s offensive skills on their blue line. Olli Maatta is their most experienced left-side defenseman. He won two Stanley Cups with the Pittsburgh Penguins, but his production is inconsistent. Depth blueliner Kurtis MacDermid plays a more physical defensive style, while rookie Mikey Anderson has limited NHL playing time.Dunn would bring three seasons of NHL experience (including a Stanley Cup championship in 2019) into the Kings lineup. He could skate on the first pairing alongside Drew Doughty or bring additional depth to their second-pairing.The Kings have the cap room ($9.4 million) to take on Dunn’s contract. It’s doubtful general manager Rob Blake would part with his 2021 first-round pick to get him, though he could afford to give up one of his two second-round selections."

Maatta has been a disappointment in a short sample size with the LA Kings after he was believed to be the solution to assist Drew Doughty in returning to Norris Trophy form. The recent rash of injuries has forced Kale Clague – a left-shot defenseman – to move to the right side, with Kurtis MacDermid seeing second pairing minutes.

The results have been a disaster, as MacDermid has accounted for a 38.4 xGF% in over 120 minutes of on-ice time.

Of course, acquiring Dunn would put a wrench in the wealth of left-shot defensive prospects the LA Kings have in their prospect pool. But the team might be able to package Maatta in a deal for a low draft pick to free up some playing time for others.

Dunn was drafted in the second round of the 2015 NHL Draft and burst onto the scene in the 17-18 season, tallying 24 points while primarily limited to third-pairing minutes. He followed up his rookie campaign with a 12-goal, 35-point season in 18-19  and tallied 23 points in 71 games last year.

Through 12 games in 2021, Dunn has three goals and five points, including a power play goal while averaging 18:12 on-ice time.

Next. These two lineup changes need to be permanent. dark

He signed a one-year contract extension in the offseason before becoming a restricted free agent at the end of the 2021 season. So the question becomes, is Dunn worth a high draft pick to bolster the left side of the defense? Again, the LA Kings have a plethora of left-shot defensemen, so some dominos will need to fall if Dunn were to be acquired.