Proposed Trade: Auston Matthews to LA Kings for Byfield and More

James Connelly
May 30, 2023  (3:13 PM)

Much speculation regarding a significant trade proposal involving Auston Matthews, which would see him joining the LA Kings for the final year of his contract.

Proposed Trade: Auston Matthews to LA Kings for Byfield and More

Rumors have recently emerged regarding a significant trade proposal involving Auston Matthews, the star player for the Toronto Maple Leafs. The deal under consideration would see Matthews joining the LA Kings for the final year of his contract. Let's delve into the details of this potential blockbuster trade and assess the perspectives of both teams involved.
The uncertainty surrounding Auston Matthews' future in Toronto has sparked speculation about potential trade scenarios and the potential return the Maple Leafs could receive if he decides not to re-sign with the team. One trade proposal, gaining considerable attention on Proposed Trade: Auston Matthews to LA Kings, has ignited discussions about its feasibility and whether the Leafs should seriously consider it if Matthews expresses a desire to leave.
In this proposed trade, the Toronto Maple Leafs would be looking for nothing short of an exceptional return for a world-class player like Matthews. The LA Kings, on the other hand, would need to relinquish significant assets, but the trade could prove mutually beneficial for both teams.

Key to the proposed trade is Quinton Byfield, the second overall pick in the 2020 NHL Draft. Byfield, who is yet to establish himself fully in the NHL. He spent time shuttling between the AHL and NHL last season. While his numbers may not be eye-popping, Byfield possesses the physical tools and attributes to become a standout player in the modern NHL.
Standing at an impressive 6'5" and weighing 216 lbs (195 cm/98 kg), he is one of the largest players in the league. Byfield's steady improvement and promising playoff performance suggest that he has the potential to become a point-per-game player as early as next year.
Another player included in the proposed trade is Gabe Vilardi, the 11th overall pick in the 2017 draft. Vilardi's development has taken some time, but he broke out in the NHL last season, showcasing solid offensive numbers and impressive defensive skills.
Cal Petersen's inclusion in the trade is partially aimed at addressing salary cap considerations. Although Petersen's contract is regarded as one of the league's worst, he is essential to the trade given the salary cap.
The trade proposal also includes valuable draft picks—a 2023 2nd-round pick and a 2024 1st-round pick. These picks could be instrumental in rebuilding the Leafs' prospect pool or used as assets in future trades to further enhance the team's competitiveness alongside Vilardi and Byfield.
On the other side of the trade, the LA Kings would be parting ways with significant assets, with the aim of acquiring Auston Matthews. Despite a season affected by injuries, Matthews, a former MVP, managed an impressive 40-goal, 85-point campaign. He is widely regarded as one of the NHL's top players when healthy and has reportedly expressed interest in joining the Kings, offering them the benefits of a major market while enjoying a somewhat lower level of public recognition.

Final Thoughts

Should the trade be completed, the LA Kings would have the opportunity to sign Matthews to a long-term extension, solidifying their position as a powerhouse in the league and establishing him as their premier center and the face of the franchise for years to come.
In assessing this potential trade, it is worth noting that the advantage currently appears to lie slightly with the Toronto Maple Leafs due to Byfield's promising potential. However, should Byfield develop into a consistent sub-60-point player, the balance may shift in favor of the LA Kings.
It remains to be seen which team would benefit the most from this mock trade, but the discussions surrounding it certainly highlight the excitement and speculation that emerge when high-profile players are involved in major trade proposals.
30 MAI   |   138 ANSWERS
Proposed Trade: Auston Matthews to LA Kings for Byfield and More

Would you do this trade as the Maple Leafs GM?

Yes2417.4 %
No11482.6 %
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