It was reported last week by www.mayorsmanor.com that Loktionov had asked Kings management for a trade. He got his wish Wednesday, being shipped off to New Jersey where he will begin his career with the Devils by playing in Albany for the teams' minor league affiliate.
Loktionov spent most of his time with the organization playing for the Manchester Monarchs, the Kings' minor league affiliate. He came into the league as a center, but with the Kings already having an overload of depth at that position, he was moved to the wing where the team likely felt he would have a better opportunity of cracking the pro lineup. The organization has already locked up its top four NHL centers for years to come. Anze Kopitar and Mike Richards are in the middle of long-term deals, while Jarret Stoll and Colin Fraser both signed three- and two-year deals respectively over the past summer.
Playing on the wing was the only real chance Loktionov had of playing in Los Angeles, but that experiment failed, as he struggled to produce at that position, nor did he ever really except the change. This was probably the biggest reason for him asking the organization to trade him.
The Kings also have a handful of other young prospects who are producing more than Loktionov in the minors. In fact, there are five other players in Manchester who have scored more than he has at this point in the season. In this his fourth season in the minors, the expectation was for him to be amongst the top offensive players for the Monarchs, but that never came to fruition. Loktionov had just seven goals over 36 games in Manchester this season, the same as defenseman Slava Voynov, who spent 35 games with the club during the NHL lockout.
The Russian center who is set to become a restricted free agent this summer, played in 39 games for the Kings last season while splitting time between Los Angeles and Manchester. He also appeared in two playoff games last year, filling in during the first round for injured forward Kyle Clifford. Loktionov has just seven goals and seven assists in 59 NHL games, and had totals of 29 goals and 68 assists in 131 games with the Monarchs.Tags: 2008 NHL Draft, 2013 NHL Draft, Andrei Loktionov, Anze Kopitar, Colin Fraser, Hockey, Jarret Stoll, Los Angeles, Los Angeles Kings, Mike Richards, New Jersey Devils, NHL, NHL Lockout, Slava Voynov
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