The Los Angeles Kings made the first trade of the offseason yesterday, acquiring forward Viktor Arvidsson from the Nashville Predators in exchange for a second-round pick in this year’s draft and a third-round pick next year.
We expected the Kings to be aggressive in looking to improve their team this offseason, so it didn’t come as a huge shock to see the Kings add a forward with a trade. However, I didn’t have Arvidsson on my radar as a potential target for the Kings, so it was interesting to see for sure.
Arvidsson has spent his entire career with the Predators, scoring 127 goals and 239 points in 385 career games. He’s 28 years old and has three years remaining on his contract at a $4.25 million AAV.
Despite averaging around 15-20 goals and 40 points per 82 games over the last two seasons, he’s just a couple years removed from being a very productive forward. In three seasons between 2016-17 and 2018-19, Arvidsson had a pace of at least 30 goals and 60 points per 82 in each season.
He’s dealt with injury trouble since then but there are signs that his production could bounce back. For one, his ice time has been reduced over the last two seasons, down by about 2:30 per game from his most productive season in 2018-19. Additionally, he had a shooting percentage of just 6.6 per cent this season, compared to his career shooting percentage of 11.4 per cent. For comparison, if he managed to sustain a shooting percentage of 11.4 this past year, he would’ve had 17 goals in 50 games, rather than 10 goals. That’s a hypothetical, of course, but it does go to show that Arvidsson should be able to boost his production, at least to an extent.
As for what the Kings gave up, I think they got a really good deal here. A second-round pick and third-round pick is a pretty light price to pay as is, but given the team’s situation, it works even better. While Los Angeles should continue to have a long-term outlook with their transactions, they’ve built a strong enough prospect pool that they can afford to give up picks in a trade like this. As mentioned yesterday, they’ll still have a pick in the second round this year, as well as a third-round pick for next year anyways, thanks to trades involving Alec Martinez and Jeff Carter.
Arvidsson should probably slot right into the Kings’ top-six group and can certainly provide a boost at the top of the forward group. I think there’s a good chance that his production can recover and even if not, he’s still signed at a reasonable cap hit for three years and is still at an age where a decline shouldn’t be a concern.
Overall, I really like this trade for the Kings and while I’d rather that the team goes to free agency for any other additions rather than dealing away more draft picks, this trade was a good move for the Kings.
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Do you think the Kings will make another major addition to their forward group this offseason?