Kings trade Cammalleri to Oilers, acquire Jokinen. Why? - LA Kings Insider

The Los Angeles Kings swung a trade with the Edmonton Oilers that was consummated quickly, exchanging Michael Cammalleri for Jussi Jokinen. The vitals: Jokinen, 34, had one assist and two penalty minutes in 14 games with Edmonton. Cammalleri, 35, had three goals and seven points in 15 games with Los Angeles. With a $1.1-million cap hit on a contract that expires after this season, Jokinen costs $100K more than Cammalleri’s one-year deal, but financials aren’t paramount in this exchange.

So, why is this trade made? It’s still early, and the architects of the minor deal weren’t immediately available for comment. But in poking around with a number of different sources, all of whom insinuated that this happened quickly, the Kings essentially acquired a player who is a better fit for their bottom-six. Cammalleri admirably slotted in to such a role, but that type of slot isn’t really one that takes advantage of a skill set more geared towards offensive production.

Jokinen, meanwhile, wasn’t drawing rave reviews for his early season performance, but is a player capable of slotting in all three forward positions and is comfortable in a bottom-six-type role. Despite ranking second in the league with an average of 2.41 goals-against per game, Los Angeles’ checking and defensive play has been inconsistent this season. Counting scoring chances is subjective, but by Natural Stat Trick’s count, the Kings have yielded the sixth-most chances per 60 minutes and the fourth-most high danger chances per 60 minutes, and “puck management” is a term that has crept into the vernacular of players and coaches after recent games. No drastic change in chances and checking should be expected following this trade, but, again, Jokinen likely provides what the team believes to be a sturdier personnel structure in the way the bottom six is constructed. It will come at the expense of a player who has factored into the team’s power play while providing a specialist who has 36 career shootout goals, having converted 37.5% of his attempts.

Cammalleri was a low-risk, low-cost July 1 signing that added another option to an offensive group that entered the season looking to improve upon an output that tied for 24th in the league in scoring last season. The expectation was that he would play with skaters who would allow for him to create offense, but with Alex Iafallo’s emergence alongside Anze Kopitar and Dustin Brown, and the team’s 3.17 goals-per game through the first six weeks of the season, there were unforeseen circumstances that affected where he slotted. He was scratched for the fourth and fifth games of the season, and in addition to his power play work, was skating more regularly at even strength with forwards Trevor Lewis and Brooks Laich, who are not in a top-six role. Ultimately, he skated only 9:49 of five-on-five time with Kopitar.

That then raises the natural question: did Cammalleri ask to be moved? Having asked a number of people, not all of whom responded, I haven’t heard that he did, and I haven’t heard that he did not.

In 905 regular-season games, Jokinen, a sixth round draft pick by Dallas in 2001, has 547 points (186-361=547), a plus-2 rating and 367 penalty minutes. He has appeared in 54 playoff games, totaling 32 points (17-15=32), a plus-10 rating and 20 penalty minutes.

-Lead photo via Andy Devlin/NHLI

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Adrian Kempe

#9 | 6′ 2″ | 195 lb | Age: 21

Born: September 13, 1996
Birthplace: Kramfors, SWE
Position: LW
Handedness: Left


Kempe was selected by the Kings in the first round (29th overall) in the 2014 NHL Draft.

Alex Iafallo

#19 | 6′ | 185 lb | Age: 23

Born: December 21, 1993
Birthplace: Eden, NY, USA
Position: C
Handedness: Left


Iafallo was signed by the Kings as an unrestricted free agent on April 18, 2017.

Anze Kopitar

#11 | 6′ 3″ | 224 lb | Age: 29

Born: August 24, 1987
Birthplace: Jesenice, SVN
Position: C
Handedness: Left


As the 11th overall pick in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft, Kopitar became the first Slovenian to play in the NHL. Kopitar has spent his entire NHL career with the Kings, and following the 2015–16 season, was named the Kings’ captain. Noted for both his offensive and defensive play, Kopitar was awarded the Frank J. Selke Trophy as the best defensive forward in the NHL in 2016.

Drew Doughty

#8 | 6′ 1″ | 195 lb | Age: 26

Born: December 8, 1989
Birthplace: London, ON, CAN
Position: D
Handedness: Right


Bio: Doughty is a Canadian defenceman who was selected second overall by the Kings in the 2008 Draft. Doughty made his NHL debut in 2008 as an 18-year-old and was named to the All-Rookie Team. He is a two-time Stanley Cup champion with the Kings, a two-time Olympic gold medallist with the Canadian national team, and a Norris Trophy finalist.

Jeff Carter

#77 | 6′ 4″ | 215 lb | Age: 31

Born: January 1, 1985
Birthplace: London, ON, CAN
Position: C
Handedness: Right


Carter began his hockey career playing in the Ontario Hockey League in Canada before joining the AHL and playing for the Philadelphia Flyers. He was then traded to the Colombus Blue jackets before joining the LA Kings in 2012, where he has since won two Stanley Cups with the Kings.

Jonathan Quick

#32 | 6′ 1″ | 218 lb | Age: 30

Born: January 21, 1986
Birthplace: Milford, CT, USA
Position: G
Handedness: Left


Bio: Quick is the current goaltender for the LA Kings and was selected by Los Angeles at the 2005 NHL Entry Draft. Previously, Quick was a silver medalist with USA at the 2010 Winter Olympics. He’s won two Stanley Cup championships with the Kings, along with being the most recent goaltender to be awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy as the Most Valuable Player (MVP) of the 2012 Stanley Cup playoffs.