Blockbuster Trade Scenario Could Potentially Send Auston Matthews to LA Kings

Elliot Ben Jacob
May 31, 2023  (8:07)

Potential Trade Scenarios: Auston Matthews to the LA Kings

A captivating trade proposition has surfaced suggesting the transfer of Auston Matthews to the LA Kings for the concluding year of his existing contract.

The Speculations Around Matthews' Future

Given the uncertainties surrounding Auston Matthews' tenure in Toronto, trade conjecture is rife. This has provoked widespread discussion on the prospective returns for him from potential trade alliances, especially if he declares his non-interest in re-signing.
CapFriendly, a notable platform for such discussions, is buzzing with intrigue on the credibility and viability of this trade proposition, particularly if Matthews decides to exit Toronto.

The View from Toronto

Trading a top-tier player like Matthews should invariably command a world-class return. Despite the hefty give-up from the Kings, the deal could prove mutually beneficial.
The prospect package from LA is headlined by Quinton Byfield, the 2020 2nd overall pick. Unlike some of his peers from the same draft year, Byfield has yet to assert his NHL dominance, but his performances in the AHL and NHL indicate potential. His physicality and skill set are undoubtedly his strengths.
Byfield's improvement has been steady, with a noticeable uptick in his performance during this season's playoffs. Contrary to the underperforming Alexis Lafrenière, Byfield's continued development and impressive skills indicate he could reach point-per-game status in the near future.

Another promising player is Gabe Vilardi. His extended development period has yielded fruit, with the 11th overall pick from 2017 having a breakthrough year in the NHL. His remarkable defensive skills complement his solid offensive numbers.
Pairing Vilardi with a player like Mitch Marner could result in a dominant two-way force within the NHL.
The inclusion of Cal Petersen, despite his negative contract value, is partly to balance the cap. Should Toronto take him, they would need to move Matt Murray or assign Petersen to the AHL. In return, Toronto would receive more favourable draft options.
The proposed 2023 2nd and 2024 1st round picks are especially advantageous given Toronto's scarce draft picks in the upcoming years. This could aid in rejuvenating their prospect pool or enhance their competitiveness.

Insights into LA's Consideration

The question arises - why would LA consider giving up these assets? The answer lies in the acquisition of Auston Matthews. Even in an injury-riddled year, the former MVP managed impressive statistics. With his contract entering its final year, LA emerges as a rumoured favourite if Matthews chooses to move.
Enjoying the appeal of a major market, while still retaining personal anonymity, could be a significant attraction for Matthews. LA's allure is undeniable for any player, particularly those with roots in the Southwest. LA's ability to secure a long-term contract extension with Matthews could stabilize their franchise leadership until the 2030s.

The Definitive Analysis

This proposed trade is monumental. From the current standpoint, Toronto may hold a slight edge, courtesy of Byfield's potential. However, if Byfield develops into a 60-70 point player, LA might tilt the balance in their favour.
As Read on HockeyPatrol - Major trade proposal sending Auston Matthews to the LA Kings
31 MAY   |   407 ANSWERS
Blockbuster Trade Scenario Could Potentially Send Auston Matthews to LA Kings

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