Amid a flurry of moves containing NHL-caliber players, the Nashville Predators and Los Angeles Kings have finalized a swap of two players with one game of NHL experience between them. The Kings have acquired defenseman Frederic Allard from the Predators in exchange for forward Brayden Burke. This is a swap of AHL players right as both teams’ AHL affiliate squads look set to qualify for the AHL’s Calder Cup Playoffs. The Kings’ affiliate, the Ontario Reign, are second in the AHL’s Pacific Division. The Milwaukee Admirals, the Predators’ affiliate, are third in the AHL’s Central Division, so this trade was likely done with their seasons in mind.
The Kings, in getting Allard, get the player in the deal that has made it to the NHL before. Allard has played in one game, in 2020-2021, and was one of the Predators’ two 2016 third-round picks, along with Rem Pitlick. The 24-year-old defender has five points in 36 AHL games and spent time playing in Austria in 2020-2021. The Kings’ defense is currently ravaged by injuries, and a whole host of players including Drew Doughty, Sean Walker, Matt Roy, Tobias Bjornfot, and Mikey Anderson have been unavailable. They recently traded a seventh-rounder to Detroit for defenseman Troy Stecher, and now make this deal as another move to help shore up that beaten-up blueline. Allard is also a pending restricted free agent, which means that the Predators will have the opportunity to retain him should they deem him a good fit in their organization.
The Predators deal Allard for Burke, who has been an AHL player since 2018-19. He has been a decent scorer at that level, with his best season coming in 2019-20, when he had 52 points in 51 games. He now has 17 points in 31 games for the AHL’s Tucson Roadrunners this season and figures to help as a secondary scorer for the Admirals. Given that he is a pending group-six unrestricted free agent, it is unlikely that the Predators have Burke in their long-term plans. But he should be able to reinforce Milwaukee for their playoff chase, and the Predators have historically been interested in having success at the AHL level, which is where Burke has been for the entirety of his professional career.