The Los Angeles Kings have signed defenseman Mikey Anderson to a one-year, $1 million contract, the club announced Saturday afternoon.
Anderson, 23, scored two goals and eight points with a 20:07 average in 57 games for the Kings during the 2021-22 regular season. He added one assist in seven games as the Kings fell to the Edmonton Oilers in the first round of the 2022 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
With Anderson signed, the Kings have only one restricted free agent left to negotiate with this summer: Sean Durzi, another 23-year-old defenseman who scored 27 points in 64 games last season. Anderson is eligible to become a restricted free agent again next July.
The Kings originally selected Anderson in the fourth round (103 overall) of the 2017 NHL Draft. The 6’0″, 195-pound left-handed defenseman made his NHL debut with the Kings in 2019-20 and became a regular the following season, appearing in 54 of the team’s 56 games and earning a fifth-place finish for the Calder Trophy.
Anderson is a key part of a strong Kings defensive lineup that also includes Drew Doughty, Matt Roy, Sean Walker, Alex Edler, Durzi, Tobias Bjornfot, Jacob Moverare and Jordan Spence. Brandt Clarke, the No. 8 pick in the 2021 NHL Draft, could also push for a spot with the Kings sooner rather than later.
Interestingly, Anderson is one of only four defensemen in the entire Kings organization to earn at least $1 million next season, although Edler could top that mark if he earns his performance bonuses. Durzi will also likely join this group once he signs.
The Kings finished the 2021-22 season as the No. 3 seed in the Pacific Division, posting a record 44-27-11 and 99 points in 82 games. Although they didn’t do much to change their defense this summer, they made a splash by acquiring forward Kevin Fiala from the Minnesota Wild.