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Kings deal Linden Vey to Vancouver Canucks for second-round draft pick

#Kings select highly-regarded defenseman Roland McKeown with draft pick from Vancouver Canucks

At first glance it looked as though the trade of Kings prospect Linden Vey to the Vancouver Canucks for a second-round draft pick on Saturday was all about the glut at center in Los Angeles.

That's accurate, of course.

But there were other less visible business issues. There is the waiver factor.

"[We] have a number of guys needing to clear waivers next year," said Kings assistant General Manager Rob Blake, via email from the NHL's Entry Draft in Philadelphia.

By trading Vey, the Kings avoided the possibility of getting boxed in on that front next season -- losing a player on waivers -- and acquired a highly regarded asset in return. With the draft pick from the Canucks, they selected defenseman Roland McKeown of Kingston of the Ontario Hockey League at No. 50.

Draft analysts immediately praised the move, noting McKeown could have gone in the first round. McKeown's favorite player is said to be Kings defenseman Drew Doughty, which will play well in Los Angeles.

The 22-year-old Vey will be reunited with a former junior coach. Willie Desjardins, who was recently hired by the Canucks, coached Vey when he played for Medicine Hat of the Western Hockey League.

Kings fans and management had been excited about the possibilities of a line of Tanner Pearson-Vey-Tyler Toffoli at the NHL level. They excelled in a big way for the Kings' minor-league affiliate in Manchester, N.H. Instead the marquee, game-breaking line -- which excelled during the playoffs -- will be Pearson-Jeff Carter-Toffoli, for the immediate future.

Vey had five assists in 18 games for the Kings this past season and did not appear in the playoffs during the Kings' run to the Stanley Cup.

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