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Kings Complete 3-Team Trade with Philadelphia, Columbus

Jun 06, 2023
Written By: Ontario Reign

The LA Kings announced a three-team trade with the Columbus Blue Jackets and Philadephia Flyers Tuesday, which saw them acquire defenseman Kevin Connauton and forward Hayden Hodgson.

Philadelphia will receive defensemen Sean Walker, Helge Grans and goaltender Cal Petersen, all of whom have previously spent time with the Ontario Reign, as well as a second-round selection in the 2024 NHL Draft.

Connauton, 33, most recently played for the Lehigh Valley Phantoms of the American Hockey League (AHL), recording 15 points (3-12=15) in 63 games last season. Over parts of nine NHL seasons, he has registered 80 points (28-52=80) in 360 career games for the Flyers, Blue Jackets, Arizona Coyotes, Colorado Avalanche, Dallas Stars and Florida Panthers. Connauton’s best NHL seasons came in 2017-18 with Arizona where he posted a career-high 11 goals and 21 points (11-10=21) in 73 games and in 2014-15 with 21 points (9-12=21) split between Dallas and Columbus.

A native of Edmonton, Alberta, Connauton is a veteran of 322 career AHL games, notching 133 points (42-91=133) over seven seasons. Prior to his professional career, the 6-2, 205-pound blueliner played one season with the Vancouver Giants of the Western Hockey League (WHL) in 2009-10, where he put up 72 points (24-48=72) in 69 games. His 72 points were the most points by a rookie and a defenseman in the WHL while his 48 assists stood as the most helpers by a WHL rookie. His lone 72-point WHL season earned him CHL All-Rookie Team and WHL (West) First All-Star Team honors.

Hodgson, 27, spent the majority of the 2022-23 season with the Lehigh Valley Phantoms of the AHL collecting eight points (3-5=8) and 83 penalty minutes (PIM) in 44 games. He also suited up for the Philadelphia Flyers for one contest. The 6-2, 208-pound forward has skated in seven career NHL games with the Flyers, producing three points (1-2=3) with 11 PIM. Hodgson scored his first NHL goal and earned his first career multi-point effort (1-1=2) in his NHL debut on March 24, 2022, against the St. Louis Blues.

A native of Windsor, Ontario, Hodgson is a veteran of 131 career AHL games with Lehigh Valley and the Cleveland Monsters, earning 45 points (25-20=45) with 188 PIM. He spent four seasons (2017-21) in the ECHL, posting 44 points (22-22=44) with 209 PIM in 98 games with the Florida Everblades, Manchester Monarchs, Wichita Thunder, Reading Royals, Wheeling Nailers and Utah Grizzlies. Hodgson also appeared in 21 games for HC Detva in Slovakia’s Extraliga during the 2018-19 season, collecting 14 points (7-7=14) with 43 PIM and appeared in six playoff contests. Prior to turning pro, Hodgson played five seasons in the Ontario Hockey League (OHL), accumulating 157 points (87-70=157) and 331 PIM in 294 OHL games with the Erie Otters, Sarnia Sting and Saginaw Spirit.

Petersen, 28, split the 2022-23 season between the Kings and Ontario Reign, owning a 5-3-2 record with 3.75 goals against average (GAA) and an .868 save percentage (SV%) in 10 NHL games. He backstopped Ontario to a Calder Cup Playoffs berth with a 16-20-4 record with 2 shutouts, a 2.88 GAA and a .904 SV% in 40 AHL games. Since signing with the Kings as a free agent in 2017, Petersen has played in 101 career NHL games, registering a 44-42-10 record with a 2.92 GAA and .905 SV%. In 156 appearances with the Reign, Petersen posted a 69-68-17 record with a 3.20 GAA and .904 SV%. The Waterloo, Iowa native also represented the United States in three IIHF Men’s World Championships (2023. 2021, 2017), helping the U.S. to a bronze medal and earning Best Goaltender honors in 2021.

Walker, 28, posted 13 points (3-10=13) and 36 PIM in 70 contests this season, matching his career high for single season games played. The 5-11, 195-pound defenseman also made his Stanley Cup Playoffs debut this spring, appearing in two games for the Kings. An undrafted college free agent signing by the Kings in 2017, Walker has played in parts of six NHL seasons for the Kings, earning 67 points (16-51=67) in 232 career NHL games. He added 45 points (13-32=45) in 86 AHL contests with the Ontario Reign, the Kings primary development affiliate in the AHL. Internationally, the Keswick, Ontario native represented Canada at the 2021 IIHF World Championship, posting two assists (0-2=2) and 12 PIM in 10 tournament games on the way to a gold medal.

Grans, 21, skated in his second season with the Ontario Reign last season, recording nine points (2-7=9) in 59 games. In his two seasons with Ontario, Grans accumulated 33 points (9-24=33) in 115 career AHL games. Originally drafted by the Kings in the second round (35th overall) of the 2020 NHL Draft, Grans also skated parts of three seasons with Malmo Redhawks of the Swedish Hockey League, totaling 15 points (4-11=15) in 69 games. The Ljungby, Sweden native represented Sweden at the 2022 IIHF World Junior Championship, tallying four points (0-4=4) in seven games to help Sweden to a bronze medal.

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