So Long Andrei “The Not-So-Giant” Loktionov, Enjoy Newark

Per whatever source you feel like looking up, Andrei Loktionov was granted his request today when he was traded to the New Jersey Devils in exchange for the Devils 5th round draft pick.

I have mixed feelings on this deal. I do believe that Loktionov is worth, or will be worth in the near future, much more than a 5th round pick (perhaps not coincidentally, it was in the 5th round that the Kings drafted Loki). Value-wise, this is less than wonderful. However anytime a player openly requests a trade, you aren’t going to get full value. I will also allow the blissfully ignorant optimist in me to pretend that Dean Lombardi was willing to take a little less in trade to help the kid out and send him to a team where he may play. New Jersey is not particularly deep at center and Loktionov was just never going to bounce Kopi, Richards, Carter or Stoll out of the top 9, nor was Sutter ever going to it a playmaker at center on the 4th line. Maybe there is a Russian connection in Loki’s distant future with Kovalchuk. I imagine that would warm him in all the places vodka usually does.

Personally this move agitates me because I enjoyed Loktionov’s game and saw loads of potential in the kid. I hope he fulfills that potential in the NHL. His hockey sense is high and his offensive instincts and skills are top 6 NHL quality, just not defending Stanley Cup Champions top 6 quality.

It hasn’t been since Anze Kopitar that the Kings have drafted and developed an offensive dynamo at forward that has stuck on the roster. Yes the a kings boast several players that they drafted, but out of the top 6, that accounts for only two. This is a small issue, but I was hoping Loki was going to be the next one day. Time to hang my hat on Tyler Toffoli.

If we get bitten by a horrendously ugly injury bug down the middle, we may regret this move, otherwise it will not effect the Kings now or later in the slightest. Manchester will suffer. I’m sure Jungle Dave has something to say about that.

What do you think?

And in other news, whatever-his-first-name-is Bodnarchuk got sent to Manchester, with defenseman Andrew Campbell getting called up in his place. We’ll discuss this more if and when he hits NHL ice.



Categories: L.A. Kings News

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22 replies

  1. Well, it’s a bummer for the Monarchs, but good for Lokti. The kid’s got skills, maybe he’ll actually get some NHL ice time in Jersey. As sad as I was to see Cluner go (to Nashville), good for him finally getting to play in the big-time; and he scored his first NHL goal just the other night, as a matter of fact!

  2. I’m sure DL tried to get the best deal he could and Loki wasn’t happy here. There’s also the possiblity that he decides he wants to go back home to Russia, which he indicated in some interviews during the lockout.
    His size and the fact he’s a bit soft maybe lends itself better to the Eastern Conf, although in NJ he’ll be behind Zajac and Henrique.
    He did show flashes of potential but not consistancy. I hope it works out for him, he had no future here and maybe he’ll get a steady gig in NJ

  3. I must be getting a little better at this..tougher..doubtful..more prob cause WWTC :)
    Latte..my nickname for him cause I thought he was very smooth on the ice is/was/will stay a favorite. I think his size just did him in. I agree he has the skill to play in the NHL and I hope somehow he shines.
    As for Toffoli..I am excited for his future and it better be with the Kings! So do we call him Taylor til he makes the jump to NHL?..then Tyler…ok I am messing with you…really just glad to see someone else who appreciated Loktionov.
    GO KINGS GO!!!
    WWTC!!!

  4. 5th for a 5th of Wodka, however Mrs. Kovalschmuck might need a new cabana boy for that nice little man made beach inside her above ground sess pool next to Snooki and Jenny Sack.
    The reality of this move really hinges on the fact that even though you can be awed by Loktionov and his skill with the puck, he’s been way too weak, and frail to really play the North American game.
    2 significant shoulder injuries, little to no real production when up with The Kings, and the one that really stuck out and pretty meant his being buried in the AHL, not able to or willing to learn how to play wing.
    I know the Kings really wanted to see Drei succeed, and were very high on him, but todays NHL really requires your forwards to be versatile and willing to play out of their natural position if asked.
    If Drei would have embraced learning, and really did his best to learn how to play out of that comfort zone, then he might have had a chance at some point, maybe even sooner.
    The fact remains, Drei was too small, and is a playmaker, not a 3rd or 4th line center who’s job it is to play a more defensive role, and be able to be physical, something Loktionov just has never been.
    I think New Jersey will be a good place for him to get a chance to play more in the NHL since the Devils are not that deep at center and are in somewhat of a rebuild which might benefit Drei in the long term.
    My one concern now is the Kings have a lot of smaller forwards in the AHL with Vey/Weal/Kozun. Toffoli I can see having success in the NHL once he takes that next step. As much as I would have like to see Toffoli up right now, its probably better for his development that he remains in Manchester until there is a real need for him.
    When I read Toffoli is leading Manchester is goals, that puts a smile on my face, especially because this is his 1st full professional season.
    On a side note, when NHL Live reported the trade of Loktionov, they mentioned a certain former King/Penguin/Maple Leaf had been a scratch recently from their lineup.
    This former King scored 5 goals the one season he was here during the regular season, and faced one of his former teams in last seasons Stanley Cup Finals.
    When the Kings made the mistake of letting a certain Russian player walk because Terry Murray killed his production, they thought they could replace that player with Poniboy who couldn’t hold Frolov’ jock on one of Fro’s worst days.
    Too bad Fro got hurt after he signed with the Rangers, but these things happen.
    One thing I have noticed though, how is it that Pittsburgh can trade Staal to Carolina for a spawn of Sutter, and then pickup another former 1st round pick of Carolina in Zack Boychuk off waivers?
    Not that Boychuk is a great player yet, but it just seems those rich teams get richer while the Kings might waive or trade prospects/players but not really see much in the way of a return?

  5. better fit in N J ,wish him we ll hopefully find his stride there.Who is next Kings nation,Penner or Bernier?

  6. Your hat may hang better if you got Tyler Toffoli’s name right- or is this an inside joke I missed somewhere along the line…?

    Toffoli has tons of raw talent. If I remember correctly, he was ranked in the top 15 going into 2010 and dropped in the rankings late in the year before the draft. However, he was still projected to go in the first and when he started to slip the Kings traded up to get him. I was at the draft (as I’m sure most of you were since it was at Staples) and remember being happy we got him. I can’t wait to see him in the NHL.

    I think a 5th round pick for Lokti is a bad deal and I find it hard to believe no other team could do better than that. That being said, you’re not left with a lot of cards when every team knows that there is no room on your roster and the player requests a trade.

  7. This is KIND OF a bummer to me on a personal level, as he used to bring his car into our service/repair shop in manhattan beach. He was there a lot. He drove a Cayenne so yea needless to say he was there quite a bit. When he first came in i thought who is this kid and why is he bringing his dads car in for service if he can’t even speak english?! His name rang a bell. I googled it. BINGO! After that I took care of him any way shape or form that i could. When i would see him on the ice i would get super excited. He seemed to play with a lot of heart, definitely not the biggest guy but a hell of a lot of heart. Upon my googling i found out a lot of his stats and was very impressed. Its a shame to see him go, but i totally understand why and wish him nothing but the best!

  8. This is the best for all sides here. We have seen this movie before. Certain players are just not going to have any worthwhile ice time, and even when they do, they are in a limited role with specific duties on the ice. For any player that played the game in all facets with major ice time, they become disgruntled so fast with the low ice time role playing. It has become common place that if a player does not speak up, then they are forgotten and stagnating. Some of these Euro guys better think twice if playing in roster crowded North America is really going to work for them. The stark reality is maybe a 4th line role here in North America or a 1st or 2nd line in Europe.

  9. Dean had to have shopped him around and the best thing he probably was offered was a 5th. So, is that saying Loktionov is a highly regard prospect? Still wanted to see him in a Kings uniform, making fools look foolish like Datsyuk.

    Godspeed Loki! Bernier will be next.

  10. I’m sorry to disagree, but Lokti is not “top 6 material.” So that means he’s not bottom 6 material either because he’s not very big, he’s not shutting anybody down, and he’s fast but not THAT fast. He’s an easy guy to root for because he’s very nice and it feels like he grew up with us. But that doesn’t make him a good player. The same reaction some people are having to this trade reminds me of the things said when Jack Johnson was traded. People were hyperventilating in their frantic attempts to describe his coming greatness. Jack Johnson will never, ever win a Norris trophy, and he’s a fine enough defenseman but the fact is he is mostly a liability on the back end, no matter how much you like him. He’s a career minus defenseman who’s not that great at being offensive and not that great at being defensive. He’s a poor man’s James Patrick.

    Also, New Jersey is fine at center:

    Zubrus Zajac Kovalchuk
    Clarkson Henrique Elias
    Gionta Carter Bernier

    He’s not going on the 4th line because as i said he can’t shut anyone down, so where’s his spot? He’s going to play with Kovalchuk just because they’re both Russian? I doubt that. He’s not taking Zajac’s job.

    Lokti will end up playing the season with Albany and join the KHL next year.

    • Jack Johnson will never, ever win a Norris trophy, and he’s a fine enough defenseman but the fact is he is mostly a liability on the back end, no matter how much you like him. He’s a career minus defenseman who’s not that great at being offensive and not that great at being defensive. He’s a poor man’s James Patrick.

      … That’s an insult to James Patrick.

      Personally, it’s amusing (yet predictable) to know that nearly all of the people talking about how the Kings won’t be affected by this were the ones last season saying Loktionov would just step in at third line center for Stoll this season. Which ever way the wind blows, I guess.

  11. My problem with the trade is not that he was traded. It’s more a question of what DLhas done with certain drafts. He’s drafted a number of small “skill” players, and not a single one has been able to stick with the big team. Lokti, Moller, Kozun, Acevedo, Hickey and I’m sure I missed some others.
    My upset is compounded by the fact that most of the other forwards we’ve drafted don’t have a very strong skill set. So it’s either smaller skilled players who don’t make the team, or larger bodies that you make the team….. but with limited offensive upside?

    • Your data source is EXTREMELY misleading. Loktionov was a 5th round pick, Kozun was a 6th round pick, Azevedo was also a 6th rounder. Yes HIckey & Moller were 1st and second respectivelly, but in the same draft we got SImmonds and Martinez. You mention the lack of big forwards with offensive upside. The reason we haven’t drafted many (Schenn & Simmonds are the only that immediately come to mind) is because they usually go early in drafts. Instead Dean took over a team with no blueline or goalie and decided to try to build it through the draft. Look at our first round picks since Dean took over: Bernier, Hickey, Doughty, Schenn, Forbort, and Pearson. Tell me who should have we drafted instead that would fit that “big forward with offensive upside?” It is specious reasoning to blame Dean, because either those types of players have not been there or we filled a more pressing need (blueline, goalie).

      • TK…. Clearly I didn’t make my point very well. Yes, I hadn’t forgotten about Simmonds. Schenn hadn’t yet made the team and I’m very ok with the fact that we got Richards in return. That wasn’t my point at all. What I was saying was that if you break it down to players developed by the team (i.e. neither acquired in trade nor ufa’s) the forwards who have made the team are Nolan, King, Clifford, Lewis, and I’m probably missing someone in there. They are fine. But none of them have amazing goal scoring instincts.
        I was Not saying that they should have drafted big guys who were amazingly skilled. The point was that there is an ‘in-between’ that exists. Most every team has them. I used Anisimov as an example. He has skill and isn’t a little body that will get knocked off the puck or is weak defensively.

        Also, I’m not sure why it was necessary to point out that I didn’t have my facts straight given that Lokti was a 5th, Kozun a 6th etc. I know full well where they were taken in the various drafts. That had nothing to do with the point I was making.

        Someone somewhere posted something along the lines of ‘why did DL draft smaller bodied players if he was gonna have two coaching hires, neither of whom like smaller players”. I was coming at it more from that angle.
        I hope that makes sense. My post may come off as black or white, and I realize full well that there are the gray areas. Gather I didn’t make that very clear.

        • It appears to me that Dean drafts based heavy on need early and heavy on value late. By pointing out the draft position of Lokti & his ilk, I was trying to emphasis that player like Anisimov aren’t usually avaliable. The type of player you are describing is usually all picked up by the mid-second round except for the occassional exception. Going back over the Dean drafts I cannot find an Anisimov-type after the second round (with the exception of Jamie Benn, but he is an extreme outlier and more skilled than the type of player I think you are describing). It seems that our later draft picks of big guys have produced “grinders” while our later draft picks of smaller guys has produced AHL-players. Also, the question of”why did DL draft smaller bodied players if he was gonna have two coaching hires, neither of whom like smaller players” I think can be answered by saying the two are not as intertwined as first glance would make them appear. He hired the coaches he felt would make the NHL team win. Meanwhile, he drafted the players he thought had the most talent and ability to make it longterm. If the NHL was more like football where basically every draft pick is on your active roster or cut within months of the draft I assure you he’d draft differently. However, taking a chance on a small body in the 5th or 6th makes sense even if they don’t fit the current system.

          • Well put. I agree with everything here….. and of course I did in fact realize going back to his first years here that he was willing as you point out to take flyers (no pun) on the Kozun’s, Acevedo’s etc in the later rounds hoping to catch lightning in a bottle.
            It was more the idea that Moller was a 2nd rd pick and Hickey being the 4th overall pick that year and you probably remember how surprised everyone was (hockey pundits) by the pick.
            Oh well, at least he made it with the Isles.

  12. I’m ok with the trade. I don’t think he’s really NHL material. I think his game is more suited for the larger ice rink. He’s too easy off the puck. North American hockey is too physical for him. He’s a fast little fucker with good skills but he doesn’t take a hit too well and that type of game is perfect for that Euro hockey.

    Even if he does somehow crack the lineup in NJ, I can’t see how he’d really excel there. One can bring up Purcell or Moulson but that was Terry “dumping and chasing is the only way over the blue line” Murray era.

    • Teddy 10 pts in 9 games, Moulson 9 pts in 9 games

      Gagne, Cliffy, Williams, Brownie, Richie, Kopi 5 pts in 8 team games

      DAMN YOU, TERRY MURRAY!!

      • Hey TK…. here you are again. Yeah, that’s what I’m (in a very abstruse way) what I’m driving at …. sort of. It’s sort of the combo of certain draft picks Plus certain good pick ups (TP being a free agent as I recall) that were not developed properly. I’m with you on that one wrt TM.
        I know Quisp liked Moulson a lot. I live on the east coast, and do get to see him often on tele. Granted he’s playing w Tavares who is really flowering, but he still is a very savvy and strong player.
        So, summing it up….. it’s what Scribe would refer to as ‘developing a top six forward’. Most likely Schenn would have been that. But the fact is that as you know, the two top six forwards we developed were drafted by DT and started their development before DL ever started w the Kings.

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