With the Kings trying to cope with the losses of both Willie Mitchell and Matt Greene, Lombardi added another big stay-at-home defenseman to the roster -- 24-year-old Keaton Ellerby.
In exchange, the Kings sent the Florida Panthers the 2013 5th round draft pick they'd just acquired for Andrei Loktionov. Andrew Campbell will return to Manchester.
Ellerby is a third-pairing defenseman who will challenge Davis Drewiske and Jake Muzzin for a spot. Although Drewiske and Muzzin weren't on for many goals against, they were heavily sheltered at even strength and only given limited minutes. This was causing a lot of strain on the rest of the defense, particularly Doughty and Scuderi.
Ellerby won't have much of an impact on the salary cap; he makes $700,000 on a one-year contract.
Here's a first look at what the Kings got.
#4 / Defenseman / Florida Panthers
Nov 05, 1988
Ellerby was a highly ranked prospect back in 2007, going tenth overall in the draft. He is an excellent skater despite his massive frame, but not a threat on offense.
Ellerby had been struggling to earn a regular role with the Panthers on the third pairing (playing 54 and 40 games the last two seasons respectively). He could have the tools to be a solid shut down defenseman, but so far he's still a work in progress. The Panthers have a surplus on defense, and a stacked prospect pool, so he was shipped out.
For the Kings, this move makes a lot of sense. They lacked size on the back end with both Mitchell and Greene out. Campbell could have been given a shot, but he lacked any NHL experience. Ellerby's possession stats were also middle-of-the-pack for Florida. If paired with one of the Kings' puckmovers, his job could be a lot simpler.
In short, this was a low cost move that addressed an area of need. We will see if Ellerby can put it all together with a different club. Say hello to our new 6th/7th defenseman.