Brendan Lemieux was traded to the Los Angeles Kings by the New York Rangers on Saturday for a fourth-round pick in the 2021 NHL Draft.
The 25-year-old forward has entered NHL COVID-19 protocol. He's scored seven points (two goals, five assists) with 59 penalty minutes in 31 games for New York this season. He played 10:29 against the Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday, his second game of more than 10 minutes since March 13 (eight games).
"Brandon's proven he brings a certain element, that grit, that nastiness, that toughness with some other teams in the NHL," Kings coach Todd McLellan said Monday. "He's still considered a very young player age-wise and experience-wise and we think that he can help."
Lemieux agreed to a two-year, $3.1 million contract ($1.55 million average annual value) with New York as a restricted free agent in the offseason.
"It was a logjam obviously," Rangers coach David Quinn said Sunday. "With [Vitali] Kravtsov here and [Brett] Howden getting healthy and some guys doing well in Hartford (of the American Hockey League), it seemed like the right thing to do and it's going to give [Lemieux] an opportunity to play in a little bit more of a role that he's looking for. He was a good player for us and we're going to miss him."
Lemieux has scored 43 points (22 goals, 21 assists) with 299 penalty minutes in 162 games in five NHL seasons with the Rangers and Winnipeg Jets. He is fifth in the NHL in penalties drawn (80) since 2018-19.
Lemieux was junior teammates with Kings forwards Gabriel Vilardi and Andreas Athanasiou.
The Rangers have nine picks in the 2021 draft, including three in the fourth round.
NHL.com staff writers Tracey Myers and Tom Gulitti contributed to this report