Olli Maatta Traded to the Los Angeles Kings

Olli Maatta
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The Los Angeles Kings traded for defenceman Olli Maatta from the Chicago Blackhawks for prospect Brad Morrison. Chicago retains $700k of Maatta’s $4 million salary.

Kings Aquire Maatta

Olli Maatta is a 26-year-old  left-shot defenceman who is a seven-year NHL veteran. Last season, he scored 17 points in 65 games, played 18:25 on average, and had a 49 Corsi percentage at even-strength. He has played most of his career with the Pittsburgh Penguins, winning two Stanley Cups with them in 2016 and 2017. Last season, was his first year away from the Penguins. He has two years remaining on his contract.

NHL free agent frenzy

“Olli is a well-rounded player who will fit well with our group of defensemen,” said Kings general manager Rob Blake in a press release. “He is a young player that already has a lot of valuable NHL experience, including a pair of Stanley Cups, and we look forward to having him join our organization.”

The Blackhawks acquired 23-year-old centre, Brad Morrison. Morrison played the majority of last season with the Fort Wayne Comets of the ECHL, scoring 19 points in 17 games. The season before, he played with the Ontario Reign of the AHL and scored 20 points in 50 games.

What This Means for the Future

Maata adds some experience on the Kings blue-line. Among signed defenders, only Drew Doughty and Maata have more than two years of experience as full-time NHL defencemen. Maata is an unassuming defender, who can move up or down the Kings defensive line-up. That is a valuable player to have as a young Kings team may have defenders who exceed or don’t live up to expectations, so having the ability to place Maata anywhere is advantageous for them.

The main piece of the deal for Chicago is getting rid of the majority of Maata’s $4 million cap hit. The Blackhawks with Maata had seven million in cap space to sign two-goalies, and RFAs Dylan Strome and Dominik Kubalik. They needed to move money to make that work, and Maata was the guy. Morrison is a 23-year-old player who played in the ECHL. He doesn’t project as an NHL player, more of a player that could help their AHL team.

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