Tag: Tanner Pearson

2010 NHL Draft Portraits

Looking to make the leap: Jordan Weal


Fighting to eventually win two Stanley Cups is worth the cost of taking risks, but the Los Angeles Kings’ farm system has seen consequences from regular trade deadline moves.

Jewels From the Crown took a look at how much shallower the Kings’ prospect pool has become, something that seems clearer after the very clear graduations of scorers Tyler Toffoli and Tanner Pearson.

That said, there are still a couple prime-age players looking to make a dent on the NHL roster, including forward Jordan Weal.

It’s about that time for Weal. The 23-year-old was a third-rounder (70th overall) back in 2010, and he’s shown a solid knack for putting up points at the AHL level.

After scoring 70 points for the Manchester Monarchs in 2013-14, he nearly matched that output last season with 69 points. He really took off during the 2015 Calder Cup playoffs, scoring 22 points in 19 postseason games.

Weal thinks he has what it takes to take the next step, as NHL.com noted during his strong AHL playoff run.

“They have a great team up there and it’s really a great organization,” Weal said. “I can’t ask for more. They’ve given me lots of opportunity to play pro and get drafted and I think I’m ready to take the next step and play with them. But you never know. It’s tough to crack a team like that.”

Unlike Nick Shore and Andy Andreoff, Weal has yet to get his first taste of NHL action. The 2015-16 season represents his best chance to change that, especially after a strong finish with the Monarchs.

Report: Kings suspend Voynov over non-hockey injury

Slava Voynov

The Los Angeles Kings have moved to suspend Slava Voynov for his Achilles injury that he suffered during his indefinite NHL suspension, per LA Kings Insider’s Jon Rosen.

While the Kings suspending Voynov as well might seem redundant, it does give them a certain degree of cost certainty. As long as his nearly $4.2 million annual cap hit is off the books, the Kings have about $60 million committed to 16 players, which is a decent amount of space going into free agent market. Los Angeles still has restricted free agents to re-sign including Tyler Toffoli and Martin Jones, but now it will be easier for the squad to make moves beyond that.

He’s reportedly being suspended because the Kings believe that his injury isn’t hockey related, a point which Los Angeles assistant general manager hinted at when the subject came up back in April.

“It wasn’t at the rink,” Blake said regarding the injury, per the Los Angeles Times.

It is worth noting though that Kings GM Dean Lombardi previously stated that “they’re shooting for the middle of training camp” for Voynov’s return, according to the Orange County Register. Although he also compared the situation to that of Tanner Pearson’s in the sense that the Kings forward was ultimately sidelined for longer than anticipated.

In-demand Futa ‘will remain a Los Angeles King,’ says Lombardi

2014 NHL Draft - Round 2-7

LA Kings VP of hockey ops Mike Futa, considered to be in the mix for Toronto’s vacant GM gig, isn’t going anywhere — at least according to GM Dean Lombardi.

“Mike Futa is still a Los Angeles King and will remain a Los Angeles King,” Lombardi said, per LA Kings Insider. “You don’t think the guy could jump ship now, right?”

Lombardi’s comment came while Futa prepped and continued scouting for the NHL Entry Draft, which will go later this month. Scouting is how Futa established such a strong reputation across the league — in his eight seasons with the Kings, he headed up a department responsible for drafting the likes of Drew Doughty, Kyle Clifford, Alec Martinez, Slava Voynov, Dwight King, Jordan Nolan, Tyler Toffoli and Tanner Pearson. (Jake Muzzin, an undrafted free agent, also came aboard under Futa’s watch.)

As mentioned above, Futa’s been tied primarily to the vacant GM gig in Toronto. But according to TSN, teams have tried in the past to lure him out of Los Angeles — Buffalo and Calgary during their GM searches — and the Kings responded with a promotion, new contract and stipulations about what jobs he could seek out.

Which probably explains why Lombardi was so adamant Futa wasn’t going anywhere.

“There’s a big challenge ahead of us,” he explained. “I don’t think [Futa’s] had time to think about it. He’s been going a hundred miles an hour.”

Many reasons — including plain, old luck — to explain Kings missing playoffs

Darryl Sutter

Ask Darryl Sutter why his Los Angeles Kings are going to miss the playoffs less than one year after winning the Stanley Cup and he first points to the “disparity” in the home (24-9-7) and away (15-18-8) records.

On top of that, he concedes that all the hockey, regular season and playoffs combined, the Kings have played the last three years “probably” took a toll.

You may also recall earlier in the season when Sutter noted how it’s a “quite a bit different team on the back end” (without Slava Voynov and Willie Mitchell) and how “we need great goaltending,” something the Kings didn’t really get compared to previous seasons.

We’d add their shootout record (2-8) and their overtime record (1-7).

Oh, and a lack of finish. Sutter has talked about that, too.

And their special teams were pretty mediocre.

And losing Tanner Pearson hurt.

And they probably should’ve bought out Mike Richards.

Bottom line: a lot of things didn’t go the Kings’ way. Given all the good fortune they enjoyed during their two championship runs — from getting the Coyotes and Devils as their final two opponents in 2012, to all the overtime victories that could’ve ended differently in 2014 — perhaps they were simply due a dose of the opposite.

It’s always a contentious topic when it comes to hockey: luck. But like it or not, it can be the difference between a good team winning it all and a good team missing the playoffs.

That’s not to say that everything boils down to luck. It obviously doesn’t. The Kings got the job done in 2012 and 2014; they didn’t in 2015. And yes, Dean Lombardi has some work to do this offseason. His team has flaws.

That being said, let’s end this with a fun fact:

If the Kings beat the Sharks on Saturday, they’ll finish with the same record (40-27-15) as they did in 2011-12.

One team finished with a parade.

The other will finish with a meaningless game against San Jose.

Kings sign Pearson to two-year, $2.8M extension

Tanner Pearson, Tyler Toffoli
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The Los Angeles Kings locked up one of their prized youngsters on Thursday, agreeing to terms with rookie forward Tanner Pearson on a two-year deal.

Per Sportsnet, the contract is worth $2.8 million for an average annual cap hit of $1.4M, which is nearly double what Pearson made on his entry-level deal.

All told, it’s a pretty good arrangement for both the club and player. Pearson, 22, was L.A.’s first-round pick at the 2012 NHL Entry Draft and rose to prominence during last year’s Cup run on “That 70s Line” with Jeff Carter and fellow youngster Tyler Toffoli.

This year, Pearson got off to a great start — he was October’s rookie of the month — and racked up 12 goals in 42 games before suffering a broken ankle in early January. (He’s currently out of the lineup and isn’t expected back until the playoffs… if the Kings make it.)

With Pearson now signed, Kings GM Dean Lombardi will turn his attention to Toffoli and the club’s other pending RFAs: Nick Shore, Andy Andreoff and goalie Martin Jones.