LA Kings: Four defensemen worth trading 2021 first round pick for

LA Kings Rumors (Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports)
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LA Kings Olli Maatta
Mandatory Credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports /

This offseason is critical for the LA Kings, and they should consider trading their 2021 first-round pick for these four defensemen.

One of the biggest priorities on LA Kings general manager Rob Blake’s to-do list this summer will be finding more scoring from the blueline. It’s been a major point of emphasis all year long, and while the organization acquired Olli Maatta last offseason, the Finnish defenseman put a bandaid on an open wound.

Maatta, 26, had just four assists in 41 games this season. He has one year left on his deal, and he’ll likely be left unprotected to Seattle’s expansion draft, although the chances seem slim the Kraken will take him.

Mikey Anderson had a strong rookie season, tallying a goal and 11 points in 54 games, but both he and Tobias Bjornfot don’t project as offensive D men. The Kings could give a long-term look at Kale Clague, assuming Seattle does not take him, but a strong argument can be made the Kings need help along the blue line right now.

It’ll be a busy offseason for the Kings, and they’ll have another top-ten draft pick. While there are several top-tier defensemen in this draft class, they could all be off the board when the Kings are on the clock, assuming they don’t have the same draft lottery luck as last season. And, again, if they can grab one of those defensemen, that player likely will not be ready for a few seasons.

All the more reason to consider trading the pick for an established player.