The Los Angeles Kings have seen enough of Jaret Anderson-Dolan to believe he has earned an entry-level contract, signing the second-round pick to a three-year deal today. The 18-year old forward was selected 41st overall at this year’s draft, after dominating the WHL alongside Kailer Yamamoto for the Spokane Chiefs.
Anderson-Dolan shot up draft boards this past season after exploding offensively, going from just 26 points in 2015-16 to 76 in 2016-17. That included 39 goals and a trip to the U18 World Junior Championships as captain of Team Canada. Though he was held scoreless in that tournament, he could get a chance to return to the international stage this year among the U20 group. Even if he doesn’t, he’ll be part of an improved Spokane team that should end the year with a better record that last season’s 27-33-12 final.
For the Kings, the addition of Anderson-Dolan and fellow 2017 draftee Gabe Vilardi will give a boost to a relatively uninspiring prospect system. While the NHL team continues to age and fall further away from their Stanley Cup runs, there will need to be an infusion of youth at some point.