One of, if not the biggest, reason the Los Angeles Kings have been able to win two of the last three Stanley Cups is because they are arguably the deepest team in the NHL. Their depth was no more apparent than during their Cup run when Mike Richards was relegated to fourth line duty. Having said that, the depth has made it hard for young players to crack the roster. For example, Tyler Toffoli had to spend a portion of the year in the AHL, despite posting stellar numbers in his games in the NHL. One such young player that got squeezed out was 2009 4th Round Pick Linden Vey, as he was traded to the Vancouver Canucks at the 2014 NHL Draft.
Vey was one of the top scorers in the WHL during his time with the Medicine Hat Tigers, forming a dynamic duo with Anaheim Ducks prospect Emerson Etem in 2010-2011. Since his last year of junior hockey, Vey has been a mainstay for the Kings’ top minor league affiliate, the AHL’s Manchester Monarch, and got in 18 games with the Kings this past season, recording five assists.
Being such a dynamic scorer would have surely led to more NHL ice time on weaker teams but the Kings are a tough lineup to crack and Vey seemingly got lost in the shuffle. That is the reality of the situation in the NHL, being with the right team at the right time could mean the difference between getting established in the NHL and spending additional time in the minor leagues.
A fresh start for both sides is what was needed as Vancouver is going through a complete rebuild, meaning Vey is all but assured to see consistent NHL ice time next season. The Kings also got great value in the form of a second round pick that turned out to be highly touted defenseman Roland McKeown, making it a wining situation for the Kings, Canucks, and most importantly, Vey.