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.