The first trade of the day, Insiders!
The LA Kings have acquired forward Zack MacEwen from the Philadelphia Flyers in exchange for forward Brendan Lemieux and a 2024 fifth-round draft pick.
MacEwen brings with him 176 games of NHL experience with Vancouver and Philadelphia and has spent the bulk of the 2022-23 season at the NHL level with the Flyers. He has nine points (4-5-9) from 46 games played this season and 27 points (13-14-27) throughout the course of his NHL career, after he made his debut with the Canucks back in 2018-19. MacEwen is signed through the end of this season at a cap hit of $925,000 and is a restricted free agent come this summer. The move saves the Kings a bit of additional salary cap space, with Lemieux’s cap hit of $1,350,000 going the other way. Lemieux was a pending unrestricted free agent at the end of the season.
This trade is a bit of like-for-like in terms of style and role, but the Kings are moving up in size here. LA valued what Brendan Lemieux brought to the organization, with his ability and willingness to stand up for his teammates and no hesitation to drop the gloves, alongside an ability to play regularly in a fourth-line role. MacEwen brings some of those same qualities, but stands at six-foot-three, playing a role at a size that the Kings don’t have in their lineup right now. The cost of a fifth-round pick is a small one to make a move the Kings feel adds some size onto the roster.
MacEwen is a hard-working player who is more than just a fighter when he’s on his game. He’s certainly willing to fight – six times this season and 28 times throughout his NHL career between the regular and post seasons combined – but in today’s NHL, you have to be able to bring more than that to stick around. A player who relies on high-intensity effort night in and night out, MacEwen brings forechecking and physicality to his game and has shown an ability to produce a bit as well. The Kings have several options in the bottom six moving forward, depending on the look they want to utilize on a given night. MacEwen provides them with another option in that department and he seems to embrace the role he’s here to play. He also has played in the postseason before, as a rotational player with Vancouver during their 2020 run.
From the team’s official release –
MacEwen, 26, has registered nine points (4-5=9) with 54 penalty minutes (PIM) in 46 games with the Flyers this season, establishing a single-season career high for NHL games played while tying his NHL career best of nine points. The 6-3, 205-pound forward also added three points (1-2=3) in two games this season with the Lehigh Valley Phantoms of the American Hockey League (AHL).
A native of Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, MacEwan is a veteran of 176 NHL games with Philadelphia and the Vancouver Canucks, earning 27 points (13-14=27) and 233 PIM. He made his Stanley Cup Playoffs debut in 2020 with Vancouver, appearing in six postseason contests. Originally signed as an undrafted free agent by Vancouver on March 3, 2017, MacEwan began his professional hockey career with the Utica Comets (AHL) and has amassed 99 points (28-61=99) with 156 PIM in 157 career AHL games.
Lemieux, 26, has appeared in 27 games this season for the Kings, recording three assists, 53 PIM and 22 shots. The 6-1, 215-pound forward has skated in parts of three seasons for LA, notching 10 goals and 10 assists for 20 points and 164 PIM.
Originally drafted by the Buffalo Sabres in the second round (31st-overall) in the 2014 NHL Draft, Lemieux was acquired by the Kings on March 27, 2021 from the New York Rangers in exchange for a fourth-round pick in the 2021 NHL Draft. In 257 career NHL games with the Kings, Rangers, and Winnipeg Jets, Lemieux has amassed 63 points (31-32=63) and 463 PIM.