Adrian Kempe signed a four-year, $22 million contract with the Los Angeles Kings on Sunday. It has an average annual value of $5.5 million.
The 25-year-old forward, who could have become a restricted free agent on July 13, led the Kings with an NHL career-high 35 goals in 78 games this season. He also had a career-high 54 points, which was second on the team behind center Anze Kopitar (19 goals, 48 assists), and led them with six points (two goals, four assists) in seven games in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, when Los Angeles was eliminated by the Edmonton Oilers in the Western Conference First Round.
“One of the priorities for our organization is to get Adrian Kempe signed right away here,” Kings general manager Rob Blake said July 5. “Then we kind of know our situation, if we have to address a couple of needs in free agency. “
Selected by Los Angeles in the first round (No. 29) of the 2014 NHL Draft, Kempe has 186 points (90 goals, 96 assists) in 390 regular-season games, and six points in 11 playoff games.
Kempe’s contract comes 10 days after Los Angeles signed forward Kevin Fiala to a seven-year, $55.125 million contract ($7.875 million AAV) on June 30. Fiala, who was acquired in a trade with the Minnesota Wild on June 29, had a career-high 85 points (33 goals, 52 assists) in 82 games last season.
The Kings (44-27-10) finished third in the Pacific Division to return to the playoffs after failing to qualify in each of the previous three seasons. However, they have not won a series since winning the Stanley Cup in 2014.