(Reuters) - The Los Angeles Kings have acquired All-Star forward Jeff Carter from the Columbus Blue Jackets in exchange for defenseman Jack Johnson and a first-round draft pick, the teams said on Thursday.
Carter, 27, who was in his first season with Columbus after spending the previous six campaigns with the Philadelphia Flyers, is a three-times 30-goal a season scorer that will be expected to give a boost to a Kings team battling to make the playoffs.
"He brings goal-scoring abilities, speed and at his age he is entering the prime of his career," Kings General Manager Dean Lombardi said in a statement. "We also like his versatility as he can play both center and wing."
Carter, the 11th pick in the 2003 National Hockey League (NHL) Entry Draft, has 196 goals and 368 points in 500 career games with Philadelphia and Columbus.
The Blue Jackets, who will get the Kings' first round pick in either the 2012 or 2013 NHL Draft, will be counting on 25-year-old Johnson to bolster one of the league's worst defenses which has allowed 198 goals this season.
Johnson, the third overall pick in 2005, set career highs in assists (37), points (42) and games (82) last season and has 24 points in 61 games in the 2011-12 campaign.
"We are committed to re-shaping our club and moving forward," Blue Jackets General Manager Scott Howson said in a statement. "Adding a player like Jack and a first round pick are important parts of that process."
The NHL trade deadline is 3 p.m. ET (2000 GMT) on February 27.
(Reporting by Frank Pingue in Toronto. Editing by Patrick Johnston)