Amidst the COVID chaos, there's something comforting about hockey transactions on July 1st, isn't there?
The Nashville Predators decided to get a jump start on their expansion draft planning by trading forward Viktor Arvidsson to the Los Angeles Kings for their second-round pick in the 2021 NHL Entry Draft and their third-round pick in the 2022 NHL Entry Draft. As per reports, no salary has been retained as part of the deal.
Arvidsson is coming off a somewhat middling year by his standards, finishing the 2021 campaign with 10 goals and 15 assists for 25 points in 50 games. The Kings, however, clearly made this deal in the hopes that the 28-year-old can somehow reclaim his form from between the 2016-2018 seasons. That period saw Arvidsson score at a roughly 60-point pace, even managing to pot a career-high 34 goals in 2018-19 and serve as a key cog in the Predators' run to the Stanley Cup Finals in 2016.
Not to mention, acquiring Arvidsson is a significant move for the Kings, appearing to signify a shift in trajectory for an organization that has spent the past three years dedicated to a patient rebuild in the pursuit of future success.
Arvidsson is a player in the middle of his prime, someone who happens to be signed under contract for another three years at an average annual value of $4.25 million. If the Kings see their contention window as still resting a few years away, Arvidsson doesn't really fit that timeline. But with a solid young core and a plethora of talented prospects nipping at the precipice of their NHL roster, this offseason may serve as a clear turning point for the Kings that moves them into win-now mode.
Even after dealing away two picks in today's trade, the Kings still hold seven selections in both the 2021 and 2021 drafts. With one of the brightest futures in the league, all eyes will be on Los Angeles as the offseason festivities kick off soon.