Los Angeles Kings: Will team bring back any free agent defensemen?

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Los Angeles Kings Joakim Ryan
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Joakim Ryan

Joakim Ryan was limited by injuries this past season, but when he did play, he was not efficient by any means, at least offensively. The 27-year-old scored just one goal with four assists and tallied an aggregate -3.2 GAR. As noted, he was horrific on offense, with a -6.6 even-strength offense rating, but he logged a +4.5 even-strength defense rating, good for second-best on the team behind Matt Roy.

Per EV, Ryan is projected to fetch a one-year deal worth $981,500. It would be relatively inexpensive to sign the unrestricted free agent, but the Kings can allocate that money elsewhere.

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In terms of what’s next, again, don’t expect much. The Kings aren’t going to partake in the Taylor Hall sweepstakes this offseason. If anything, expect them to find a bargain either in free agency or taking on a bad contract to acquire additional draft capital.

Regardless, Rob Blake will have to address the left side of the defense, especially if all three of the players, as mentioned earlier, find new homes. I suspect that either Walker or Hutton will be back, depending on price.

But after playing in just three games last year, expect Tobias Bjornfot to burn the first year of his entry-level contract next season. Kale Clague and Mikey Anderson could potentially do the same.

On the active non-roster, the Kings will decide whether Paul Ladue is worth retaining, as the 27-year-old spent the majority of the year in Ontario. When called up over the last three seasons, he just hasn’t been able to produce the same way he has in the minors, so perhaps the Kings have seen enough.

We’ll start to look at several bargains in free agency that could potentially be stopgaps along the left side of the defense until the young kids are ready to take over. Thanks for reading.