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The Los Angeles Kings have re-signed young forward Tanner Pearson to a two year contract extension. Per TSN’s Darren Dreger the deal is worth $1.4 million per year, which would be solid for the Kings if Pearson is able to show the offensive potential that made him a first round pick. The 22-year-old Pearson was slated to be a restricted free agent this summer.
Pearson, the 30th overall pick in the 2012 NHL draft, has missed 34 games this season with a broken lower left fibula sustained Jan. 10 against Winnipeg. He has 12 goals in 42 games, which relates to 23 goals in a full 82-game schedule, which is pretty good for a developing 22-year-old player.
Pearson was also an integral part of 'That 70s Line' with Jeff Carter and Tyler Toffoli before his injury. Last playoffs Pearson had 12 points in 24 games played, which was probably another reason why he got the deal. With all three players on late line 30 or younger, it's a trio that could be prolific for the Kings for the next several years.
Also, Pearson’s puck possession numbers were quite solid this year with his Corsi 5-on-5 at plus-15.03 per Behind the Net, though his quality of competition was quite low at minus-0.674. Regardless, he’s young and of course he’s going to be hidden a bit from top match ups.
Pearson remains out, and according to reports from a Wednesday practice, it appears he may not return until the playoffs – provided the Kings get that far.
As for LA’s next moves for its younger players, LA Kings Insider mentioned some more restricted free agents still needing to be signed from a story in March:
In terms of a sequence, the agreement with Pearson is expected to be the next contract to be finalized amongst the club’s restricted free agents, followed by goaltender Martin Jones. The process of coming to terms with Tyler Toffoli on a new contract will take longer. Andy Andreoff and Nick Shore are also impending restricted free agents, while Justin Williams, Jarret Stoll, Robyn Regehr, Jamie McBain and Andrej Sekera are eligible for unrestricted free agency on July 1.
Regardless if Pearson continues his upward track, that’s a pretty fair deal for him and the Kings.
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