A year after Los Angeles Kings goaltender Jonathan Bernier asked for a trade, it was finally consummated today as he was moved to the Toronto Maple Leafs in exchange for winger Matt Frattin, goalie Ben Scrivens and a second round pick in either 2014 or 2015. Longing to leave the shadow of Jonathan Quick, Bernier was itching for the chance to be a No.1 starter in the NHL. He certainly has the pedigree as he is a former 1st rounder (11th overall), a Stanley Cup champion (albeit as a backup), QMJHL champion with the Lewiston Maineiacs (where he was named playoff MVP) as well as gold medals with Team Canada at the World Juniors and the Spengler Cup. Bernier will get ample opportunity to take the reins in Toronto despite the presence of James Reimer, who took the Leafs to their first playoff appearance in 9 years. Reimer will face his stiffest competition yet in the talented Bernier for the starting job and will be interesting to see both players will respond to the challenge.
On the Kings’ side, they get a pretty decent package back. In Toronto, Scrivens fought all year to be the No.1 guy but in LA he will be the backup, a position he is more suited for. He definitely had his moments with the Leafs but he should do better with a smaller workload and a good defensive system in front of him. With Frattin, LA gets a scoring winger with some size and speed. He’ll be in tough in trying to crack a deep LA roster with prospects Tyler Toffoli and Tanner Pearson looking to make the team next season too. The second rounder could be the deciding factor as LA has had a knack for finding talented prospects later on in the draft such as Slava Voynov, Kyle Clifford, Andrei Loktionov, Jordan Nolan and Tyler Toffoli to name a few.
This trade truly has no winner or loser at the moment. Toronto gets one of the most promising young goalies in the NHL who they hope will be the long term goaltending solution in a city that is desperate for a consistent No.1 goalie they can trust game in and game out. On the other hand, Los Angeles gets some nice pieces in Frattin and Scrivens to augment an already deep and talented roster as well as the very valuable second rounder. It will be very interesting to see how all this unfolds and it will no doubt be one of the most scrutinized trades this year.