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The Los Angeles Kings completed a huge trade with the Columbus Blue Jackets today, acquiring defenseman Vladislav Gavrikov and goalie Joonas Korpisalo, in exchange for a first-round pick in 2023, a third-round pick in 2024, and goalie Jonathan Quick.
The deal was reported following the Kings’ comeback win over the Winnipeg Jets last night (which featured four goals from Anze Kopitar), before being announced today.
Should the Kings miss the playoffs this year, the Blue Jackets will instead receive the Kings' second round picks in 2023 and 2024.
Gavrikov is 27 years old and was one of the better defensemen available on the trade market. He’s averaged more than 22 minutes per game of ice time this season and will be a steady defensive presence for a team which needs exactly that.
Korpisalo is 28 years old and put together a good bounce-back season with the Blue Jackets, who were terrible in front of him. In 28 games this season, Korpisalo managed a .913 save percentage and should hopefully provide stability for the Kings in net.
Both Gavrikov and Korpisalo will be unrestricted free agents this summer.
Perhaps the biggest news in the deal is it marks the end of Jonathan Quick’s tenure with the Kings. Drafted by Los Angeles almost two decades ago, Quick won two Stanley Cups in Los Angeles and holds the franchise record in games played and wins by a netminder.
This year though, Quick struggled, posting an .876 save percentage through 31 games. Still, trading him to the worst team in the league as the Kings gear up for a playoff run, just a year after he was a key reason for them even getting back to the postseason, is a tough way to send him off.
I’ll aim to have more analysis on the trade out soon.