Los Angeles Kings

LA Kings: News and Notes

Now in off-season mode, the Los Angeles Kings continue to make news.

Two of their best players were rewarded on the NHL Awards front. They retained one of their draft picks by signing him to an entry level contract. And the Kings continued to add depth and youth by signing a free agent to an entry level contract.

They’re looking to continue to transition from a heavy hard hitting team, to the speed game currently taking over the NHL. That is going to continue this offseason, after starting that transition during this past season.

LA Kings Award Season

LA picked up the Williams Jennings Trophy – which goes to the best defense at seasons end – and two Kings’ had their names added as finalists for other awards.

Drew Doughty was named one of the three finalists of the Norris Trophy, the award for the NHL’s best defense man of the year. This is the fourth time in Doughty’s career that he has been among the top three finalists for the Norris. Doughty’s lone win came in 2016 when he became the second Kings player to win award.

Anze Kopitar, meanwhile, was named a finalist for two awards. One of which he is familiar with and the other was a first time nominee. The Slovenian was named a finalist for the Selke Award, given to the forward who plays the best defensive game. It is Kopitar’s fourth time being a finalist also winning his lone award in 2016.

Meanwhile, he was also named a finalist for the Hart Memorial trophy for the first time. That award is given to the league MVP/ This is a worthy accomplishment, as he set career highs for goals (35), assists (57), & points (92), while helping the team return to the playoffs.

Kings sign Matthew Villalta

The hockey club added to their goaltender depth this offseason. They signed their third round selection from the 2017 NHL Draft, Matthew Villalta, to a three year entry level contract. Villalta is 18-years-old and had an outstanding season for his junior team back in Canada.

Villalta lead the Ontario Hockey League in wins (40) and goals against average (2.58) this season. He also led his team to the OHL Finals. However, it’ll be some time before Villalta joins the Kings. But he is predicted as a future starter whenever Jonathan Quick is no longer with the club.

Kings sign Brad Morrison

The Kings have recently had some success signing prospects through free-agency. That trend continued with the signing of free agent forward Brad Morrison. A fourth round draft pick in the 2015 NHL Draft, Morrison failed to sign with the New York Rangers, which paved way for this move.

A product of Canada’s Western Hockey League, Morrison scored 263 points during his junior career. And at just 21, he looks likely to start in the minors for the Kings.

This is another addition to their depth at the forward position. The Kings will need Morrison’s skill and speed and hope it translates to the next level.


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