So, who do we keep, trade or promote?

Kurisu

O Captain, My Captain!
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Seeing the arrival of Turcotte and Fagemo last game, with the midseason approaching and acute needs at LD and G, it's time to talk about forward prospects. Defensive prospects are a puzzle also to a lesser extent, but the real challenge is untangling the value of the young forwards. Who is essential to the final part of the rebuild?

  • Byfield
  • Vilardi
  • Kaliyev
  • JAD
  • Kupari
  • Fagemo
  • Turcotte

Which ones are your preferred future Kings, and who did I miss including?
 
It's a tough one because Turcotte is really kinda TBD. But if I had to choose now, Fagemo and JAD would be expendable.

I think Byfield, Vilardi, Kaliyev and Kupari are keepers at this point. That being said, I could see Kupari being moved eventually.

This is the problem when you have a crop of very good but not "great" players. It's really hard to tell which one will is the best of the lot.
 
I think Byfield and Turcotte are untouchable.

If Kaliyev weren’t injured, he would be the first guy I would trade.

As much as I would hate losing him, I think Kupari will also be dangled.

The other very attractive forward prospect is Chromiak. He may be part of the deal for a LD as well. But I hope the team holds onto him. He has great potential at RW3 or RW4.

Vilardi and JAD are here to stay. They’ve earned their spots.
 
I think Byfield and Turcotte are untouchable.
Turcotte is about as touchable as touchable gets. The problem with trading him is that his value is currently pretty low because of his very concerning injury history. IF he manages to stay healthy, and that's a huuuuuge "if" considering his concussion history, he's currently projecting as a third-line center, maaaybe a second if things go really, really well for him and he suddenly discovers his scoring touch. His scoring has not translated to the pros, even when he is healthy. He is smallish for the type of physical, high-risk game he plays and his body is not taking it well. The next hit he takes could be the end of his hockey career, unfortunately. So the realistic assessment of Turcotte at this point is a middle-six center with a very concerning concussion history who relies on a type of game which puts him at a high risk of a career-ending injury. If I'm Blake, he's the first guy I'm dangling in trade talks.


The only two "untouchable" prospects the Kings have are Clarke and Byfield. They have the potential to be 1D and 1C, the two most valuable positions on a hockey team. Everyone else can be moved if the deal is right.
 
I think given the way that this organization has handled the current crop of prospects, there's a very real chance of a couple of them becoming answers to the trivia question "can you believe they traded him?"

Not to say that currently there are players that will become superstars, but the idea is that they weren't played enough at the highest level for us to know. It's all very much TBD still, which is fairly frustrating.
 
If someone offered value of Byfield or Clarke as a 1C or 1D id be listening.

Im pondering this list some more. Having Moore out of the lineup is giving me a lot to think about. I still cant decide how valuable he is.
 
Untouchable: Byfield

Nearly Untouchable: Clarke. I trade him if it was part of a player coming back at LD that truly checked all the boxes. For example, it's been rumored lately that Quinn Hughes might be available. Not saying this happens, or that it's the perfect trade, just an example of somebody who id consider in a trade for Clarke.

Would prefer not to: Vilardi and JAD. I think both might have solidified themselves as mainstays this season. Different roles obviously, but i think both bring something to the table.

Everyone Else: Kaliyev and Fagemo look like they might fulfill the same role. Kaliyev should have more value. Turcotte's value is probably pretty low at this point, so who knows what he'd fetch, but given our forward and center depth, id certainly consider it. With that said, it would be a really wild twist if Turcotte somehow found himself as LA's next up and coming center with Byfield permanently moved to wing. It's not something i expect, but more fun to think about.

So, my prime candidates for trade would be:
• 1 of Kaliyev/Fagemo
• Kupari
• Turcotte


I think it's worth pointing out, as others have mentioned, that some of the vet guys like Iaffalo or Moore would be fairly valuable trade pieces that could potentially be filled by a prospect. For example, i really like how JAD has looked over the past few weeks, and you could potentially see him replace a guy like Iaffalo. With that said, i dont think he's there yet, so it would be a situation where a team is demanding a guy like Iaffalo and it forces your hand to make the trade.
 
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Turcotte is about as touchable as touchable gets. The problem with trading him is that his value is currently pretty low because of his very concerning injury history. IF he manages to stay healthy, and that's a huuuuuge "if" considering his concussion history, he's currently projecting as a third-line center, maaaybe a second if things go really, really well for him and he suddenly discovers his scoring touch. His scoring has not translated to the pros, even when he is healthy. He is smallish for the type of physical, high-risk game he plays and his body is not taking it well. The next hit he takes could be the end of his hockey career, unfortunately. So the realistic assessment of Turcotte at this point is a middle-six center with a very concerning concussion history who relies on a type of game which puts him at a high risk of a career-ending injury. If I'm Blake, he's the first guy I'm dangling in trade talks.


The only two "untouchable" prospects the Kings have are Clarke and Byfield. They have the potential to be 1D and 1C, the two most valuable positions on a hockey team. Everyone else can be moved if the deal is right.

I was only talking about the forwards in my post so that explains why Clarke was not included. And you correctly listed all the reasons that Turcotte is also an “untouchable”. Perhaps I could have used the word “untrade-able” instead.

But I am curious if you think any of the veteran wingers may get moved for the right defenseman. Before the season started, I speculated it could be Kempe or Arvidsson… although my preference would be seeing AI included in a big trade.
 
I was only talking about the forwards in my post so that explains why Clarke was not included. And you correctly listed all the reasons that Turcotte is also an “untouchable”. Perhaps I could have used the word “untrade-able” instead.

But I am curious if you think any of the veteran wingers may get moved for the right defenseman. Before the season started, I speculated it could be Kempe or Arvidsson… although my preference would be seeing AI included in a big trade.
Any of them if it is a "right enough" defenseman, I would think. Arvy or Kempe would seem to be the most likely candidates, but if the brass thinks Kupari could be the next Moore, maybe him as well, but that seems like a fairly remote possibility.
 
Right now, with how he has played this season, Vilardi will stay a King. Byfield is young and Blake will wait on him. Everybody else is available, however what would you really get?
 
Any of them if it is a "right enough" defenseman, I would think. Arvy or Kempe would seem to be the most likely candidates, but if the brass thinks Kupari could be the next Moore, maybe him as well, but that seems like a fairly remote possibility.

I'd be very surprised if Kempe were traded. Arvi and Moore, though, make sense despite how well they have played if the offer is right. I still think the Kings are going to have to trade Arvi at some point to open up a consistent spot in the top 6. Kupari could reasonably replace either Arvi or Moore on the Danault line.

Kings likely need to keep either Moore or Iafallo, but potentially could lose one of the two.
 
I'd be very surprised if Kempe were traded. Arvi and Moore, though, make sense despite how well they have played if the offer is right. I still think the Kings are going to have to trade Arvi at some point to open up a consistent spot in the top 6. Kupari could reasonably replace either Arvi or Moore on the Danault line.

Kings likely need to keep either Moore or Iafallo, but potentially could lose one of the two.

i dont see anybody on the Kings right now that brings what Arvidsson brings (aside from Fiala, but he's a bit different). He's a lot better at battles and protecting the puck than i had realized before we traded for him, and he has enough skill to get shots on goal from anywhere on the ice. He causes so much chaos for defending teams. Kupari, to me, still has a lot of growing to do just in terms of decision making with the puck, and his offensive game doesn't yet warrant a top 6 role. I really enjoy what Arvidsson (and Fiala) bring to this team. Yes, they both make the occasional mistake, but the pressure they put on opponent's defense is significant, and the Kings dont really have guys like this in the prospect pool.

To me, right now, Kupari could replace grundstrom, and if he could improve his reliability, maybe JAD. At least in terms of roles, those seem to be his best options right now. That's my take at least. And fwiw, i dont see Kempe being moved, and from what ive heard, Moore and Iaffalo are both guys the Kings intend to move forward with.
 
Untouchable : None.

Nobody looks like a McDavid, let alone a Stutzle. I don't think anybody is untouchable.

I've said for a year now that Durzi does 90% now of what we hope Clarke's ultimate upside will be. So, if I can get a legit top tier player for Clarke then I'm moving him. Byfield played his best game as a King last night but he's not untouchable. I don't know if that is what he ultimately becomes or that's fools gold and he's move of a 0.5 PPG guy.

I overall agree with your slotting of players and would definitely move Iafallo to free up some cap space and plug JAD into his spot. Somehow the light bulb has come on for JAD in the latest call-up. With Moore getting extended, the Kings are need to pick between keeping Iafallo and Arvy. It doesn't make sense to pay 2nd line money to have someone play on the 3rd line.

Also, what about Bjornfot? He's never impressed me (I'm in the minority on this one) and he's going to be transitioning from a guy with 100+ NHL games by 20 into a guy who's played at the NHL level but looks to just be another guy.

I think Byfield is untouchable for me because of all the reasons we drafted him. You're gambling on potential there, with all the basic physical traits that could make him supremely dominant. I agree that if the right deal came along, id move him, but the right deal "for me" just isnt really something i would expect to happen. you're not getting a top tier, young, dominant center back for Byfield as the centerpiece of the package. Even if you could find a team to make that trade, you'd be sending considerable assets the other way on top of Byfield. Let the kid grow and trust that the process will work.

Which brings me to Clarke. I think we have prospects in the pipeline, and a bit of a redundancy with Durzi, that Clarke does come off as slightly more expendable to me. I think Clarke will probably wind up being the best player out of all the offensive defensemen, but with a glaring hole at LD, im more willing to trade clarke for the right fit at LD.

As for Bjornfot... who knows. I have seen enough to know why the Kings drafted him. He's flashed some offensive instincts, but the consistency and decisiveness has lacked. And that's to be expected. He's young. So, id say im impressed with what he could be, but like a lot of these young prospects, he's got a ways to go.

With Durzi, he does bring some good offensive instincts to the table, but he's not elite (clarke could be), and i think that's a significant point to consider, because Durzi needs to minimize his mistakes. last night, he made a bad read, trying to go forward as the last guy back to make a play on a puck he was never likely to win anyways. the player went by him and scored. I think he brings good offense to a team that desperately needed it on the back end, but i still find myself wondering if this team would be better off with somebody more reliable, because right now, id ideally have him playing bottom pair and PP. Clarke could be Fiala, where he's so good on offense, the team ha sto adjust to his game a bit. Durzi isnt at that level (and clarke may not get there either), so you'd like to see him become more reliable and predictable on D to offer a more complete package.

I want to make one last point with respect to plugging guys into top 6 roles for guys like Iaffalo, or Arvidsson, or even Moore to some degree. These more veteran players have demonstrated that they can be defensively reliable, fairly consistent, and still produce. JAD has looked great the past month or so, but he doenst have the track record. Kupari has shown improvement, but he doesnt have the track record. I think it's a bad idea to simply start penciling these guys in for top 6 roles until theyve shown they can do what were seeing this season, over the course of an entire season. And both JAD and Kupari have not shown enough production, like Kaliyev has, to guarantee they ever become more than bottom 6 guys. So Arvidsson, Iaffalo, Moore... none of those guys are expendable to me. I might move one of them if push comes to shove, but it's not because i believe one of the younger guys can just plug right in. It would be because i think the loss of losing one of them would be outweighed by the gain of whoever it is we trade for.
 
i dont see anybody on the Kings right now that brings what Arvidsson brings (aside from Fiala, but he's a bit different). He's a lot better at battles and protecting the puck than i had realized before we traded for him, and he has enough skill to get shots on goal from anywhere on the ice. He causes so much chaos for defending teams. Kupari, to me, still has a lot of growing to do just in terms of decision making with the puck, and his offensive game doesn't yet warrant a top 6 role. I really enjoy what Arvidsson (and Fiala) bring to this team. Yes, they both make the occasional mistake, but the pressure they put on opponent's defense is significant, and the Kings dont really have guys like this in the prospect pool.

To me, right now, Kupari could replace grundstrom, and if he could improve his reliability, maybe JAD. At least in terms of roles, those seem to be his best options right now. That's my take at least. And fwiw, i dont see Kempe being moved, and from what ive heard, Moore and Iaffalo are both guys the Kings intend to move forward with.

I fully agree with you in terms of Arvidsson, he's been one of our best and most consistent forwards this season and brings the passion as well. He has had a few key turnovers, as most of the team has, but more times than not has been clutch when the big moments arise. That said, I think he has a high trade value and, if kept, will eventually need to shift to the 3rd line to make room for a prospect we plan to be a key (in their prime) during the upcoming Cup contending years if/when such a prospect becomes ready. He is a hard player to give up, though, and has progressively grown during his time with the Kings. To your point, none of the prospects/rookies yet have earned that spot yet.

I'd really like to see Kupari graduate from the physical grinder role, but he seems to be following the Kempe model and, to your point, is still a ways away from being a reliable offensive contributor. Replacing Grundy, make sense.
 
Turcotte is about as touchable as touchable gets. The problem with trading him is that his value is currently pretty low because of his very concerning injury history. IF he manages to stay healthy, and that's a huuuuuge "if" considering his concussion history, he's currently projecting as a third-line center, maaaybe a second if things go really, really well for him and he suddenly discovers his scoring touch. His scoring has not translated to the pros, even when he is healthy. He is smallish for the type of physical, high-risk game he plays and his body is not taking it well. The next hit he takes could be the end of his hockey career, unfortunately. So the realistic assessment of Turcotte at this point is a middle-six center with a very concerning concussion history who relies on a type of game which puts him at a high risk of a career-ending injury. If I'm Blake, he's the first guy I'm dangling in trade talks.


The only two "untouchable" prospects the Kings have are Clarke and Byfield. They have the potential to be 1D and 1C, the two most valuable positions on a hockey team. Everyone else can be moved if the deal is right.

Exactly why he's untouchable. Trade value couldn't be lower, pointless to trade him now.
 
With Durzi, he does bring some good offensive instincts to the table, but he's not elite (clarke could be), and i think that's a significant point to consider, because Durzi needs to minimize his mistakes. last night, he made a bad read, trying to go forward as the last guy back to make a play on a puck he was never likely to win anyways. the player went by him and scored. I think he brings good offense to a team that desperately needed it on the back end, but i still find myself wondering if this team would be better off with somebody more reliable, because right now, id ideally have him playing bottom pair and PP. Clarke could be Fiala, where he's so good on offense, the team ha sto adjust to his game a bit. Durzi isnt at that level (and clarke may not get there either), so you'd like to see him become more reliable and predictable on D to offer a more complete package.

He has improved, but I don't think Durzi will ever be very good defensively. Some of his mistakes are of an absolutely baffling variety. So defensively I think he's always going to be middling, and it doesn't seem like his offense will be good enough to make up for it, either. He's a third pairing defenseman on a good team and he may or may not ever be good enough for a second pairing guy on a contending team. I have my doubts.

Clarke has elite vision in the offensive zone. I don't recall another Kings defenseman equally gifted. No guaranty he'll ever be able to put it all together and become an elite offensive defenseman at the NHL level, but the potential is there. I also don't know that he'll ever be a good defensive defenseman. But his ceiling is considerably higher than Durzi's. So I don't really think he and Durzi are redundant any more that a potential 1C and a potential 3C are redundant.
 
I'd really like to see Kupari graduate from the physical grinder role, but he seems to be following the Kempe model and, to your point, is still a ways away from being a reliable offensive contributor. Replacing Grundy, make sense.

Kupari has shown something on PK that’s turned me around a bit on him. And he can hit when he wants to and carry the puck up and out of danger if he just keeps it simple and skates. It’s a stretch to say he’s following the Kempe model though. 9 goals and 12 assists in 98 games. Kempe was at least streaky and a tease. Kupari doesn’t shoot let alone score enough to be accused of either. (I know - it’s me again. We’ve had a couple messages on this player already but I can’t quit!)
 
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He has improved, but I don't think Durzi will ever be very good defensively. Some of his mistakes are of an absolutely baffling variety. So defensively I think he's always going to be middling, and it doesn't seem like his offense will be good enough to make up for it, either. He's a third pairing defenseman on a good team and he may or may not ever be good enough for a second pairing guy on a contending team. I have my doubts.

Clarke has elite vision in the offensive zone. I don't recall another Kings defenseman equally gifted. No guaranty he'll ever be able to put it all together and become an elite offensive defenseman at the NHL level, but the potential is there. I also don't know that he'll ever be a good defensive defenseman. But his ceiling is considerably higher than Durzi's. So I don't really think he and Durzi are redundant any more that a potential 1C and a potential 3C are redundant.

Durzi has the 6th highest points share on the team. You've got to take the bad with the good with him. If you want 2-1 games and no offense, then let Durzi walk. He's a second pair guy already in my book and his minutes reflect that too. He's also second in blocked shots. He makes bad reads but he makes a lot of good plays too. I like the upside of Clarke but I cannot understand how so many Kings fans are down on Durzi (and willing to dump him for Spence). Back to Clarke, he's elite if he puts it all together and lives up to his draft position. If not, then Durzi is what you'll get with Clarke too but Clarke has far more trade value. Pronman is currently projecting him as "Bubble top and middle-of-the-lineup player or quality starting goaltender".
 
Whatever we do, I say,
just don't trade Steve Duchesme for Jari Kurri.
 
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