Los Angeles Kings re-sign Sean Durzi to two-year deal

The Los Angeles Kings have re-signed defenseman Sean Durzi to a two-year contract capped at $1.7 million.

Durzi was a restricted free agent after completing his entry-level contract, making the deal his first with a salary of over $1 million. His closest comparables are Colin Miller of the Dallas Stars and Jacob Bryson of the Buffalo Sabers at $1.85 million, as well as Juuso Valimaki of the Calgary Flames at $1.55 million.

Durzi was originally drafted in the second round of the 2018 NHL Entry Draft by the Toronto Maple Leafs and was acquired by the Kings as part of the return of the deal that sent Jake Muzzin to Toronto. The 2021-22 season was Durzi’s first year in the NHL, where he had a strong start with three goals, 24 assists and 27 points in 64 games, and also proved to be a strong quarterback upside. digital with 15 points on man advantage. .

Durzi’s defensive game isn’t quite established yet, but when it comes to rookie seasons for defenders, being mediocre in that regard is definitely one of the best-case scenarios. He finished the season with a shot attempt share of 51.49% and an expected goal share of 51.23% at even strength, his strong ability to generate an attack balancing all his defensive shortcomings.

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The Kings have had a relatively quiet offseason, especially since it started with a bang when they acquired Kevin Fiala from the Minnesota Wild for their 2022 first-round pick and prospect Brock Faber. They immediately signed Kiala to a seven-year contract with a cap of $7,875, and after that they didn’t make much of a splash in free agency.

With Durzi’s contract signed, only Rasmus Sandin of the Leafs and Nicolas Hague of the Vegas Golden Knights remain as the remaining defenders of note in the RFA market. Sandin in particular received cover for the distance between him and the Leafs in negotiations, but perhaps Durzi’s contract will establish the market for the two defensemen.

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