Kings Receive Keaton Ellerby from Panthers in Exchange for 2013 5th-Round Pick

Ethan Grant@DowntownEGAnalyst IFebruary 8, 2013

Feb 3, 2013; Buffalo, NY, USA; Florida Panthers defenseman Keaton Ellerby (4) during the game against the Buffalo Sabres at the First Niagara Center. Panthers beat the Sabres 4-3. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports
USA TODAY Sports

The Los Angeles Kings and Florida Panthers executed a trade Friday morning involving defenseman Keaton Ellerby and a 2013 fifth-round draft pick.

The news was first reported by Florida's official team website and confirmed on Twitter by Kings Insider Jon Rosen:

The fifth-round draft choice heading to Florida was originally New Jersey’s pick and was acquired by Los Angeles on Feb. 6, when it sent center Andrei Loktionov to the Devils (h/t Yahoo! Sports).

Ellerby, the 24-year-old who was selected 10th overall in the 2007 NHL draft, has not yet lived up to his potential as a high draft pick. He played in the AHL during his first two seasons after being selected and finally struck it full-time with the Panthers in the 2009-10 season.

He has two goals and 15 assists in his career.

Despite his top billing, the former WHL star has played in just 125 games over the course of his NHL career—nine for the Panthers this season. The 6'5", 217-pound defenseman will add some much-needed size to the back line of the struggling Kings, and sending a fifth-round pick for his services isn't a bad deal at all.

ESPN's Jimmy Murphy was astounded by the news, especially considering how highly billed Ellerby was when he first entered the league:

The defending champion Kings continue to shuffle their roster in an attempt to crawl out of the basement in the Western Conference. After nine games, the Kings sit at 3-4-2—accumulating eight points and sitting seven points behind Pacific Division leaders Anaheim and San Jose.

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