Good news, initiates!
The Kings have agreed to terms on a one-year, one-sided contract extension with defenseman Mikey Anderson, carrying a $1,000,000 AAV. Anderson was one of two restricted free agents remaining for the Kings, and with his re-signing, the Kings got an important piece for another season, although there was no doubt that the two parties would agree. would hear.
Although far from an offensive powerhouse, with eight points (2-6-8) in 53 games played last season, Anderson established himself as an effective defensive defenseman early in his NHL career. Last season, the 23-year-old defenseman saw a 9% or more increase in shot attempts, scoring chances and high danger chances, helping the Kings score 12 more goals at 5-5 with Anderson on the ice. in the 2021-22 season compared to the 2020-21 season, despite relatively similar time on the ice.
The one-year contract represents a small increase for a player who has established himself as a premier NHL defenseman who provides a great complement to Drew Doughty on a pairing. Doughty likes to play with Anderson, Anderson likes to play with Doughty, and Anderson and Doughty play well together.
Looking at said Anderson and Doughty pairing, the duo was one of the top six pairings in the entire NHL in terms of CF%, SCF%, and HDCF% when playing together. Looking specifically at pairs with at least 500 minutes together, Anderson-Doughty placed second in the league in the first two categories, placing sixth in the third. Neither pairing allowed fewer shot attempts per 60 minutes than Anderson and Doughty, with their scoring chances against third-best in the league. Combined, Anderson and Doughty controlled over 56% of the goals, seventh-best in the league. All this against the other team’s best players almost every night.
The Kings now have this player under contract for a modest cap. The one-year deal means Anderson will still be a restricted free agent when his contract expires and will be eligible for arbitration next summer. The move also gives the player and team another year to negotiate a longer-term extension, should they wish. The Kings will have more cap space flexibility next summer and substantial flexibility in subsequent seasons. General manager Rob Blake said Anderson’s extension was a priority this summer and the organization likes what Anderson brings to the table.
Looking at how this affects the Kings from a salary cap perspective, the team is left with just one restricted free agent – Sean Durzi – and more than enough cap space to re-sign him. According to CapFriendly, factoring in 25-player contracts, the Kings have $513,333 of cap space remaining, but as explained yesterday, that number is misleading. Counting 25 players is two more than teams are allowed to carry during the regular season, freeing up at least an additional $1.5 million of space. As for Durzi specifically, the Kings would need to send someone to accommodate the addition, so the Kings are really looking at around $3 million in cap space with only Durzi to sign. Not only should that be more than enough to retain the Ontario native, but it should also give the Kings some leeway when it comes to potential injuries and recalls that occur over the course of the season. A healthy situation to have.
From the team’s official release –
The Los Angeles Kings have signed defenseman Mikey Anderson to a one-way, one-year contract extension with an annual average value (AAV) of $1,000,000.
Anderson, 23, had eight points (2-6=8) in a career-high 57 regular-season games with the Kings last season. He also made his playoff debut and appeared in all seven of the Kings’ playoff games, scoring his first playoff point (0-1=1) and ranking third among team defensemen in average time on ice ( 19:49).
Originally selected in the fourth round (103rd overall) of the 2017 NHL Draft, the 6-foot-0, 195-pound defenseman had 20 points (4-14=20) in 117 career games over three seasons, all with the Kings. Anderson began his professional career in 2019-20 with the Ontario Reign (AHL), where he recorded 15 points (3-12=15) in 53 games before making his NHL debut with the Kings on February 29, 2020 .
Prior to his professional career, Anderson attended the University of Minnesota Duluth (2017-19) where he helped the Bulldogs win back-to-back NCAA National Championships (2018-19) as well as an NCHC Championship (2019). He combined for 50 points (11-39=50) in 79 regular season games and received an NCHC All-Star Team Honorable Mention in his second season (2018-19). Prior to Minnesota-Duluth, Anderson also skated two seasons of junior hockey with the Waterloo Black Hawks of the United States Hockey League, totaling 50 points (6-44=50) in 111 appearances as well as eight points (5- 3=8) in 17 playoff games.
The Roseville, Minnesota native represented the United States at two IIHF World Junior Championships. He captained the United States to a silver medal in 2019, just a year after he and his brother, Joey, helped the United States win a bronze medal on home soil in 2018. In 14 games with Team USA, Anderson had six points (2-4=6).