While missing Willie Mitchell and Matt Greene on the back end, the Los Angeles Kings were in need of a defenseman to fill the void and on February 8, they acquired Keaton Ellerby from the Florida Panthers.
The consensus was simple: Ellerby was brought in as a name to fill in the depth chart. With that said, the 24-year-old filled in nicely as he played in 35 games for the Kings while averaging just over 14 minutes of ice time per game.
In addition, Ellerby registered three assists and a +5 rating to go along with 35 blocked shots (like Matt Greene, averaging one per game).
At 6’4, 220 pounds, size is certainly on Keaton Ellerby’s side. His 59 hits during the 2013 regular season are something to be noted but the 10th-overall in 2007 spent much of his time as a healthy scratch once the Kings defensive unit got healthier.
In the postseason, Ellerby made just five outings without recording a single point.
It’s hard to say how Keaton Ellerby will contribute in Los Angeles this season. While the Kings did part ways with Rob Scuderi, they did welcome Nick Shultz to the fold in addition to their deadline acquisition Robyn Regehr – and I haven’t even mentioned the fact that Derek Forbort and Colin Miller will both be battling for spots on the team’s blueline later this month.
Hopefully for Ellerby’s sake, he’ll be seeing more of the ice than the pressbox but while the jury’s still out on the Strathmore, Alberta native, the Los Angeles Kings know that if any injuries occur or someone’s game goes to hell (and let’s all hope that won’t be the case), Keaton Ellerby will be ready to step in and even contribute a little something here and there.