The next expansion draft for the new Seattle franchise will begin after the conclusion of the 2020-2021 season. With this date rapidly approaching, the Los Angeles Kings have a bit of work to do in finding out who they want to expose for the draft.
First of all, due to the expansion rules, which deems that those contracts that have no movement and no-trade clauses have to be protected, we can rule out a couple of players. They include Los Angeles Kings captain Anze Kopitar, who has a no-movement clause, Dustin Brown, who has a modified no-trade clause and Drew Doughty, who has a no-movement clause.
Additionally, any players outside of first or second-year professional players can be exposed in the draft. The Kings have plenty of players that have expiring contracts after the 2020-2021 season and will look into rebuilding their team into a yearly playoff contender.
There are two specific players that the Kings will likely expose in the next expansion draft.
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One of them is Jeff Carter. Once Carter arrived in a Kings sweater in a midseason trade in 2012, he was a consistent goal scorer for them, notching 24+ goals for them in his first five seasons. Additionally, Carter was a key contributor in both Stanley Cup Playoffs series in which the Kings won both Stanley Cups in 2012 and 2014.
However, as Carter has gotten older, he has not been at quite the same level of production in his previous years. He had only 13 goals the previous two seasons, and the previous year he missed 55 games due to injury. Carter’s cap hit is a whopping $5.27 million for the next three years and he is in his age 35 season.
Carter will be an attractive suitor for Seattle if they do take a chance on him as his contract will be expiring the year after their inaugural season.
The other player the Kings will probably expose is Jonathan Quick as they hope to get cheaper at the goalie position.
As mentioned in previous posts, Quick is not the same goalie he used to be. He has had a somewhat better season than last year as his save percentage is slightly up from .888 to .895. Additionally, his goal against average has improved from 3.38 to 3.02 this year as well.
Even with the slight improvements, Quick still has been performing as a below-average goaltender. Part of the reason is due to the play in front of him as besides Drew Doughty and Alec Martinez, the Kings lack good 2nd and 3rd pairing defenseman.
The consistent defensive breakdowns are causing Quick to be caught up in positions that are unfavorable to him, which is resulting in him yielding goals. Also, his athleticism is not what it once was as he is now in his 12th season with the Kings in his age 34 season. Quick is slowly wearing down and his cap hit is at a whopping $5.8 million for the next 4 years.
Carter and Quick are two time Stanley Cup Champions for the Los Angeles Kings. However, both players are not worth the salary cap hit they are currently gobbling up on the Kings payroll roll in the present.
The expansion draft will give the Los Angeles Kings organization an opportunity to expose these two players to rid themselves of at least one of their cap hits and help them rebuild towards the future.