Fantasy Impact: Pending a physical on Friday, the LA Kings have acquired Jeff Carter from Columbus in exchange for a 1st round draft pick (conditional, either in 2012 or 2013), and defenseman Jack Johnson.
The Kings Get: A big goal-scoring forward. Carter is a natural center, but he has played wing effectively in the past. He prefers center, and his acquisition may move Mike Richards to the wing fulltime. Carter is signed to a reasonable cap hit (just north of $5 million), but he has 10 years left on his current contract.
The Jackets Get: A decent draft pick (the year of the pick depends on whether LA makes the playoffs this year or not), and a mobile, offensively talented defenseman in Johnson. Johnson has been a mainstay on LA's power play for the past few years, and he'll likely slide in alongside James Wisniewski on the Blue Jackets first unit. Johnson has another six years left on his deal (a cap hit of $4.3 million).
Fantasy Players Impacted: This trade has serious fantasy ramifications for both teams. As previously mentioned, Carter prefers to play center. Richards has played some left wing this season, and those two will likely be reunited on the second line (at least to start). Johnson was logging almost four minutes of PP time per game in LA – look for the Kings to try and spread those minutes among the likes of Slava Voynov, Alec Martinez, and likely a forward or two. The strong play of Voynov this season likely made Johnson a tad more expendable than he otherwise would have been.
Carter takes away another potential top six spot for rookie Andrei Loktionov, who has struggled to find a consistent spot in the LA lineup this season.
In Columbus, this hurts and helps a few players. Up front, both Carter and Vermette are now gone. A huge hole has been created up the middle, and look for Derrick Brassard, Ryan Johansen, and Mark Letestu to see more minutes. On the back end, Johnson will take away PP time from Tyutin in the short term, and David Savard and John Moore in the long term. It doesn't sound like either of these two teams are done dealing, either.
Johnson's home and road splits are interesting, to say the least. He has 20 points and is a plus-2 in 32 home games. In 29 road games, he has only two points and an ugly minus-14 rating. Let's hope he gets settled in Columbus quickly…
After the emergence of Doughty, Johnson seemed to flounder a bit in a secondary role. Columbus would be smart to give him the opportunity to be their number one guy on the back end. At this point in their season, there is nothing to lose in trying Johnson out in that role.
According to TSN, Rick Nash, Dustin Brown, and Jonathan Bernier are all drawing interest from various NHL clubs.
Fantasy Players this helps, in order: