The Los Angeles Kings traded center Linden Vey to the Vancouver Canucks for the 50th overall pick in the NHL Draft and selected OHL-Kingston defenseman Roland McKeown.
There’s a good write-up on McKeown, courtesy of Mike G. Morreale of NHL.com.
Central Scouting’s David Gregory likes what he sees in McKeown, who has been compared by some scouts to Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Brent Seabrook.
“I love this kid … he can play offensively and move the puck and has a bomb of a shot,” Gregory said. “When defending you he presents himself as a big, strong and mobile guy. He’ll push guys to the side; he’s a legitimate top prospect.”
While Vey is a skilled center, he projects more as a top-six or top-nine forward, and there simply aren’t spaces available for him on the Kings, who are also looking to boost their defensive depth. With Anze Kopitar and Jeff Carter not going anywhere, and Jarret Stoll serving as part of the team’s pulse, there didn’t seem to be an appropriate spot for Vey, who doesn’t profile in the long run as a fourth line-type center. I’ll have members of the Kings hockey operations clarify this after the draft concludes.
The trade reunites Vey with his junior hockey coach in Medicine Hat, Willie Desjardins.
Second Round, 50th overall: Roland McKeown
NHL Central Scouting final ranking: 27
NHL Central Scouting midterm ranking: 15
Stats (OHL – Kingston): 62 GP 11 G 32 A 43 Pts 61 PIM
Roland McKeown, on having met with the Kings:
I had a couple with the Kings and definitely had meetings with them. I definitely saw a fit there. It’s great to hear your name called.
McKeown, on the NHL players he compares himself to:
John Moore, New York Rangers. I think he’s a player I play like, an up and coming defenseman. Good skating, good passing ability. Little things like that that make a difference in the game is where I kind of peg myself.
McKeown, on his strengths and weaknesses:
Definitely my skating is where my game is based around – the pivoting and the agility, the passing ability. Something I need to work on – in the west there, definitely a lot of strenght. The guys are big in that conference. To be able to have the stick ability and battling in the corners, that’s a big thing.
McKeown, on Drew Doughty:
I’ve grown up admiring Drew. When I heard my name called, that was the first guy I thought of. Wow. They’re Stanley Cup champions, and Drew Doughty’s on the team. What better way could it go? To be able to be a part of this organization, with all those great players there makes it very special.
McKeown, on the Stanley Cup champions trading up to draft him:
That trade, when I was heard it, I was like, ‘OK, this is going to get interesting.’ To be able to have that trade and then move up to get me was a very proud moment, and know you were wanted at that spot. That’s a pretty amazing feeling.
McKeown, on the consolation of the champions taking him despite dropping to the second round:
Out of the first, now it’s about fit. It’s just a number now, and we’re all in the same boat. Heading into camp here, it’s going to be a lot of fun, and I’ll be ready.
McKeown, on Los Angeles’ heavy OHL contingent:
Definitely you look at the track record and the players that they have, and you try and relate yourself to them. It was definitely awesome to see these OHL guys made the transition to L.A. and have been successful in that organization. So that’s definitely special to see that.
McKeown, on Alex Lintuniemi:
Yeah, that’s great. Walking over here, I asked who we took at 60, and that’s a great pick. Lintuniemi’s a great defenseman in Ottawa, and i’ve played against him a lot. To have him in our organization is great.
McKeown, on how often he spoke with Mike Futa:
I had a couple interviews with L.A. leading up to the draft. That definitely gives you a bit of an indication, but you really don’t know.