Happy Saturday Insiders……we have a deal to announce.
The Los Angeles Kings earned a 2024 second-round pick from the Arizona Coyotes in exchange for defenseman Sean Dorsey. The second round pick is a Montreal draft pick originally, and was acquired by the Coyotes in 2021 as part of the package traded for forward Christian Dvorak. The Kings are reclaiming a second-round pick in the draft next season, after they transferred their pick in the deal with Philadelphia earlier this month, which saw the Kings transfer goaltender Cal Petersen and defenseman Shaun Walker to the Flyers. The Kings had previously lost three picks in the 2024 draft, with their third-round pick included in the deal that acquired Vladislav Gavrikov and Jonas Korbesalo from Columbus and the fifth-round pick moved in exchange for forward Zach McEwen. The Kings now have five draft picks in the 2024 NHL draft as of this writing, including picks in each of the first two rounds.
The LA Kings reshuffling continues, with Durzi becoming the latest member of the 2022-23 roster to be transferred out of the current season.
The premise of the deal seems straightforward. The Kings cemented their top 4 starting quarterback earlier this month when they re-signed defenseman Vladislav Gavrikov to a two-year contract extension, locking him in both of the top defensive pair for the 2023-24 season. The Kings also have two, young, close to NHL-ready right-defensemen in Jordan Spence and Brandt Clark. Entering the right defender, he was the deepest position in the system. With Drew Doughty and Matt Roy under contract, RD1 and RD2 are stables of quality NHL talent and behind them there have been many players at or near NHL caliber. The Kings are now a salary cap team and every dollar counts. Spence and Clarke are both carrying hits under the million bucks this season and both look ready, or at least deserve the chance to prove they’re ready, for more NHL roles. When you take all of these factors into account, the move sends a player a little further ahead in his development, and as such earns more money, to a high-value second-round draft pick, while opening up an opportunity for at least one Spence or Clarke at the NHL level. It also recovers a draft asset for a team that has transferred five third-round picks or higher in the 2022, 2023, and 2024 NHL Drafts……or provides another solid asset that can be used in another transaction.
On the other hand, the Kings are losing a unique and talented player to Dorzy. This is not a situation in which the Kings didn’t love Sean Dorsey. They certainly did, and he downplayed the stretch and in the postseason over others who were available, because the Kings appreciated so much he brought to the lineup. However, he is in the same mold as both Spence and Clark, as a talented right-handed defenseman. The Kings believe in both Clark and Spence and this move indicates that they feel one of those players could fill the role vacated by Dorsey, likely referring to the third and second minutes on power play, for half the space for the salary cap. The move frees up no more than $1 million in salary cap space for the Kings, who still need to add a goaltender to the roster, with several royalties signed.
Not only was Dorzi a perfect player – he had a penchant for error that would highlight him, but he was also a dynamic striker who could create an attack with his passing ability both in power and on the man advantage. He was also a top-level player who defended his teammates, and even though he wasn’t a top player, he tried to bring physicality into his game. A stat that puts Durzi’s game into perspective—on/60 basis in a 5-on-5 game, he led all Kings defensemen in goals, assists, points, and rebounds. Dorsey is a good NHL player who can be creative offensively. He also had flaws in his game that led to goals being scored the other way.
From the team’s official statement –
The Los Angeles Kings traded defenseman Shaun Dorsey to the Arizona Coyotes in exchange for Montreal’s second-round pick in the 2024 NHL Draft.
Dorze, 24, finished the 2022-23 season with 38 points (9-29=38) in 72 games and one goal in six playoff games. The 6-0, 195-pound Blueliner has skated a 136-game NHL career, scoring 12 goals and 53 assists for 65 points and adding four points (2-2=4) in 13 playoff games. He also appeared in 91 career games for the Ontario Reign, the primary affiliate of the American Hockey League (AHL), scoring 50 points (11-39=50).
The Kings acquired Dorze in 2019 along with forward Karl Grundstrom and a 2019 first-round pick (defender Tobias Bjornfoot) in exchange for defenseman Jake Muzen from the Toronto Maple Leafs. The Mississauga, Ontario native was originally selected by the Leafs in the second round (52nd overall) of the 2018 NHL Draft.
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