LA Kings: Brandon Saad should be a top free agent target

LA Kings (Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports)
LA Kings (Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports) /

The LA Kings have a pretty long to-do list this offseason, but pursuing Brandon Saad should be near the top to provide more scoring.

It is no secret that one of the LA Kings’ biggest needs is consistent scoring from wingers. While the Kings do have young scoring threats in their prospect pool (Samuel Fagemo and Arthur Kaliyev), it is still unknown whether they would be able to make an impact right away, especially in a top-six role.

In his recent exit interview, general manager Rob Blake described the goals for the organization this summer, stating, “We want to progress and get better, and we’re going to take the necessary steps this summer, we put ourselves in a pretty good position to do that.”

Enter Brandon Saad. The 28-year-old Colorado Avalanche forward is set to become an Unrestricted Free Agent at the end of the year. While he has expressed interest in resigning with Colorado, it is still yet to be seen whether they can afford to ink him to a new deal.

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Saad’s next contract would most likely fall in the four-year, $5 million AAV range, consistent with Evolving Hockey’s contract projection. The Avalanche might not be able to re-sign Saad because some of their core players are due for extensions in the coming seasons, including Captain Gabriel Landeskog, top centerman Nathan MacKinnon, and star young defenseman Cale Makar.

So the Avalanche’s future available cap space might not allow them ultimately to sign Saad to a long-term deal. The LA Kings, on the other hand, have plenty of money to throw around.

The question is, however, how well would he fit?

This year Saad put up 15 goals and nine assists in 44 games. The Kings desperately need scoring wingers, and Saad fits that bill.

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He has also proven to be a 50-point a year player throughout his career. He would be a valuable addition to the top-six forward group, playing alongside either Anze Kopitar or Gabe Vilardi. He could give the Kings an additional legitimate scoring threat, which would only help complement their two top centerman’s style of play.

Saad is also only 28 years old, so he would fit the mold of a transitional player who bridges the gap between some of the prospects and the veterans.

The addition of Saad could potentially mirror what Justin Williams brought to the Kings after he was acquired in a trade from Carolina. A winger in his prime who can score; he has plenty of playoff experience and can help mentor the younger players.

The Kings acquiring Brandon Saad would make sense for the organization on numerous levels, and they have the money to get it done.