LA Kings: Marco Scandella would be perfect UFA defenseman

Marco Scandella has been through quite a year, and the LA Kings could potentially have an interest in bringing him in during the offseason.

Drafted in the second round by the Minnesota Wild in the 2008 NHL Draft, Marco Scandella made his debut at the age of 20. Nearly ten years later, the Montreal native experienced the Ilya Kovalchuk treatment, traded twice in the span of a month. He (Scandella) began the year with the Buffalo Sabres, tallying three goals with six assists in 31 games while averaging 16:36 on-ice time.

With Buffalo, Scandella record a 52.8 CorsiFor percentage and a 3.8 CorsiRel value, which were some of the best numbers for his career, while accounting for 7.7 percent of the team’s shot percentage. After being traded to Montreal, his shot percentage dipped to 4.8 percent but tallied a goal and two assists in 20 games.

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And in February, Scandella was again traded to the reigning Stanley Cup Champion St. Louis Blues. He recorded an assist in 11 games while averaging over 20 minutes on-ice, primarily paired with Alex Pietrangelo. The tandem is set to become unrestricted free agents at seasons’ end, with Scandella projected to receive a three-year deal at a $3.3M AAV.

The LA Kings are in the market for a UFA left-handed defenseman this offseason, and the combination with Scandella could be the perfect marriage. What I particularly like about Scandella, is that he’s mostly a stay-at-home defenseman who can provide something offensively.

If signed by the Kings, he’d likely be paired with Matt Roy or Drew Doughty, especially with Ben Hutton‘s impending free agency.

Scandella is a solid, all-around defenseman and can log a lot of minutes for the LA Kings, despite being 30 years old now. He’s aggressive on the blue line and isn’t afraid to put his body on the line to block a shot, as demonstrated by a team-high 114 blocked shots with Buffalo in the 2017-2018 campaign.

With the projected contract, he’s obviously a much-longer commitment that perhaps the Kings would like, but he’s also worth the money. The tandem of Scandella and Doughty on the top line could be a strong veteran presence that not only benefits the team but also the younger prospects, who will need mentoring.

Scandella has his negatives for sure. He’s not the fastest skater and offers next to nothing on the power play. But he’d still be an ideal offseason target for the Kings.