The Gagne trade and collecting draft picks
With the Kings receiving a fourth round draft pick – a third round pick if Philadelphia makes the playoffs – General Manager Dean Lombardi has continued to stockpile draft picks in the absence of a first round selection this season. At last year’s draft, Columbus chose to take Los Angeles’ first round draft pick in 2013 instead of the last overall pick of the first round in 2012, a condition built into the Jeff Carter trade. The Kings then selected Tanner Pearson with the 30th pick overall.
Gagne saw his ice time dip to a career-low 13:45 this season. 32-year-old veterans who earn 3.5 million dollars, have scored 283 career goals and have been healthy scratches in four consecutive games have a high probability of being moved. It is worth noting that the Kings acquired four draft picks – a third or fourth rounder, a fourth rounder, a fifth rounder and a sixth rounder in 2014 – for players who did not have regular spots in the lineup in Gagne, Kevin Westgarth and Andrei Loktionov. Of course, the fifth round pick acquired from New Jersey for Loktionov was flipped to Florida for Keaton Ellerby.
L.A. also swapped a 2012 seventh round pick for Dallas’ seventh round selection in 2013.
As it stands now, the Kings have nine picks at the upcoming NHL Draft:
Fourth Round (via Philadelphia)*
Fourth Round (via Carolina)
Seventh Round (via Dallas)
*becomes a third-round pick if Philadelphia makes the playoffs. The Flyers are currently in ninth place with a 9-11-1 record.