Home > NHL > Penner Traded to Los Angeles Kings: Analysis

Penner Traded to Los Angeles Kings: Analysis

TSN has just announced that Edmonton Oilers F Dustin Penner has been traded to the Los Angeles Kings for prospect D Colten Teubert, a 1st-round pick in 2011, and a conditional 3rd-round pick in 2012 that could bump up to a 2nd-rounder depending on the Kings playoff performance this year.

There are several reasons to like this deal for both sides, and I think it will be looked at as a solid hockey move for both teams, but for different reasons.

The Los Angeles Kings quite obviously received the best player in this deal, and the addition of the powerful Penner up-front has significantly increased their offensive power.  Established 30-goal scorers in their prime years are rare commodities in the trade market, and the Kings did well to pick up the best available power forward at the deadline.  This is a “win-now” move, and Penner will be counted on to help the Kings do some damage in the playoffs.

This move vaults the Kings into elite consideration in the Western conference, along with Vancouver, Detroit, and possibly San Jose.  They now have an impressive forward corps, a rock-solid back-end anchored by Drew Doughty, and a hot young goaltender in Jonathan Quick.  I would say that the Conference finals are a realistic goal for this team this year, although I don’t think they have the elite depth that Vancouver does quite yet.

As a side-note, I like the chemistry that potentially exists in LA between so many ex-Oilers.  Matt Greene, Jarret Stoll and Ryan Smyth all wore the copper and blue, which should ease the transition for Penner into a new city.

For the Edmonton Oilers, there are several positive aspects to this trade, but all of them are less certain.  Breaking down the components received from the Kings:

1. D Colten Teubert

Right now, he’s an AHL defenseman that is struggling to progress to the NHL. However, there are three key reasons why he could actually make the Oilers the winner  in this trade.

First, he’s a big body (6’4”, 195 pounds) that is a former 13th-overall pick.  Defensemen  take longer to learn the pro game, and it’s not unrealistic that he could develop into a  3rd or 4th defenseman with the Oilers.  The defensive unit of the Edmonton Oilers is  undersized and underskilled, and his development could be a bright spot in the future  to go along with Ryan Whitney, Ladislav Smid, Jeff Petry, and possibly, Adam  Larsson.

Second, Teubert brings captaincy experience from the WHL, along with two years experience at the World Juniors, where he won a gold medal in 2009 and a silver medal in 2010.  International experience is invaluable, providing young players with exposure to pressure situations similar to what they’ll face in the NHL.   What many TSN analysts haven’t touched on yet either is the simple fact that Teubert has established chemistry with Oilers F Jordan Eberle from their time in Regina, chemistry that could provide positive results for the team as both kids mature.

The final reason why this works for the Oilers, as my friend pointed out, is that the move clears lots of cap room, an important consideration for the future when the Oilers will be looking to re-sign their young draft picks, and bring in elite free agents.  With a new arena coming down the road in 2014, Edmonton has the chance to become more desirable as a player destination.

2. 1st-round draft pick (2011) Conditional 3rd-round draft pick (2012)

You never know how a 20-25th overall pick will turn out.  From the 2006 to 2009 drafts: Claude Giroux (22), Semyon Varlamov (23) Michael Del Zotto (20), Jordan Eberle (22) all were selected in that range of selections.  Four potential all-stars in four years if you’re keeping count.  If the Oilers got a future Claude Giroux, the trade would be looked on in retrospect as heavily in favor of Edmonton.

Overall, I like the trade a lot for both teams.  I think the Oilers knew that Penner wasn’t a lock to re-sign as a free agent next year, and that 2011 is a sellers market for a 30-goal power forward.  It would be an unnecessary risk to wait until the 2012 trade deadline, when teams knew that Penner had to be moved, and the price would be lower.  And of course, the Los Angeles Kings fans now have another reason to be excited for the playoff run that will begin after another twenty games.

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