LA Kings: Team dodged a bullet with Joel Edmundson

The first domino has fallen, as the Canadiens acquired the rights to LHD Joel Edmundson. This was the best-case scenario for the LA Kings.

While the LA Kings main priority this offseason will be finding a left-handed defenseman, they likely won’t have the option of choosing Joel Edmundson, whose rights were acquired by the Montreal Canadiens on Friday. In return, the Carolina Hurricanes will receive a fifth-round pick in next month’s draft.

On paper, this looks like a great deal. Edmundson, 27, tallied seven goals with 13 assists for 20 points in 68 games. He won a Stanley Cup with St. Louis last year, scoring two goals with nine assists in the regular season. With the Hurricanes, Edmundson had a 5.2 shot percentage increase while playing approximately a minute less of average on-ice time.

He logged a 50.8 CorsiFor percentage and a -4.6 CorsiRel value. Evolving Hockey gave him a projected three-year contract at a $3.9M AAV. Still, he’s played more like a guy that makes $1.3M AAV, which is great news for the Kings because he generally was hidden on a defensive unit that featured names like Slavin, Hamilton, Skjei, and Vatanen.

Edmundson began the year playing on the second pairing with Brett Pesce but was moved down to the third pair, in favor of the more talented Jake Gardiner.

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*Source: JFreshHockey

The figure above conveys Evolving Hockey’s defensive metrics into percentiles, but according to EV, Edmundson registered a -3.1 DGAR, -0.6 WAR, and -1.2 SPAR, meaning having him on the ice hurt the team more than him riding the bench.

He likely would have been on the third pairing with Sean Walker, who just re-signed a four-year contract extension, had the Kings signed him. It’ll be interesting to see what kind of deal he fetches from the Canadiens, but all defensive metrics point towards him being not so great.

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