The St. Louis Blues have traded tough guy DJ King to the Washington Capitals in exchange for prospect Stefan Della Rovere. King played sparingly over the last few seasons due to injury, but when healthy he has the potential to be an elite enforcer in the league. I have always liked King, but I have been in the Cam Janssen camp more than DJ over the last two seasons. Janssen is a known quantity, and although his upside might be a bit lower than King’s, he has proven capable of doing his job and staying healthy. King will be a nice fit in Washington, and we here wish him nothing but success in the future.
Let’s take a look at who the Blues will be getting in return. Stefan Della Rovere, or SDR, is a former seventh-round pick who was the captain of the Barrie Colts this past season. For anyone out there who is a World Juniors nut like me, SDR represented the Canadian team for the last two season. He is a power forward who sees the ice well, and he can put up points. He projects as an NHL-caliber player, so we should see him in the Note at some point. Maybe most importantly, SDR is apparently a close, personal friend of defenseman Alex Pietrangelo. OK, maybe that wasn’t most important, but I still like it.
Final thought on the trade: The Blues didn’t need two enforcers on the roster, so King’s inability to stay healthy left him the odd man out. He gives the Caps exactly what they need, and if he plays a full season he could really impact that team in a big way. The Blues get SDR in return, a smart power forward who has excellent leadership capabilities, and he could develop into a nice forechecking forward in the future. I like the deal for both sides, and I think the Caps win it immediately by getting a missing piece for their squad, while the Blues could win it in the long run if SDR develops into a nice NHL player. I leave you with one final video of a Superheavyweight Battle between King and 6-8 Derek Boogaard. Enjoy!