Kings sign Clifford to five-year, $8 million extension

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Just one day after re-upping with Jordan Nolan on a three-year deal, Los Angeles has locked in another of its resident tough guys.

Forward Kyle Clifford, who leads the team with eight fighting majors this season, has agreed to a five-year, $8 million extension,  per Sportsnet. Clifford, 24, has spent his entire professional career with the Kings after being selected 35th overall at the 2009 NHL Entry Draft, and is on his way to surpassing his career-high in points (previously 17) this season, with 10 through 57 games.

A gritty forward that was a key contributor to last year’s playoff run — Clifford had seven points in 24 games and assisted on Alec Martinez’s Cup-winning goal — Clifford was in the last of a two-year, $2.15 million deal with a $1.075M cap hit.

While Clifford won’t get much of an annual raise on this new deal — his average annual value is now $1.6 million — it does give the 24-year-old some long-term security and gives L.A. a really nice cap hit, which is important given its lack of available space moving forward.