On Day 2 of the NHL Draft, the LA Kings made a deal with the Arizona Coyotes, acquiring forwards Brayden Burke and Tyler Steenbergen.
In what was a very busy day two for the LA Kings at the draft table, trading up to get the player they wanted on more than one occasion, the team also completed a trade of American Hockey League (AHL) players with the Arizona Coyotes.
The Kings sent Ontario Reign forward Bokondji Imama and defenseman Cole Hults to the Coyotes in exchange for forwards Brayden Burke and Tyler Steenbergen of the Coyotes’ AHL affiliate, Tucson Roadrunners.
The undrafted Burke stands at just 5-foot-10, 165 pounds, but his skill and skating ability have allowed him to be a steady producer in the AHL, amassing better than 0.6 points per game with the Roadrunners, including 52 points in 51 games in the 2019-20 season.
Reign fans are likely to be familiar with Burke as his three points in five games against Ontario were tied for the most points against any one opponent last season.
A season removed from being an AHL All-Star – and twice a 100-point player in the Western Hockey League – the 24-year-old has been able to carve out a nice professional career so far in the AHL and appeared to be knocking on the door of the Coyotes’ roster heading into 2019-20.
It may be a little unfair to read too much into a season as unorthodox as the 2020-21 campaign, so Burke’s “perplexing” stretch midway through the season shouldn’t garner too much negative attention. This will be a great opportunity to reignite his strong track record of offensive production.
With three of the Reign’s top five scorers from last season having their sights set on the Kings opening night roster, the team could use Burke’s playmaking ability, whose 13 assists would have been fifth-best in Ontario last season.
With both Burke and Steenbergen Restricted Free Agents this offseason, only the former was given a Qualifying Offer on Monday. Burke is expected to sign and report to Ontario. Steenbergen will now become an Unrestricted Free Agent.