The Los Angeles Kings have retained a depth defenseman, signing Christian Wolanin to a one-year contract. The two-way deal carries an NHL salary of $750K. Wolanin was scheduled to become a Group VI unrestricted free agent this summer.
As we examined recently in our Kings Free Agent Focus piece, Wolanin was basically the only pending UFA that really carried any weight for Los Angeles. His return will give the team another depth option, but certainly doesn’t guarantee him much playing time. The 26-year-old suited up for 18 games this season, but only three of them came with the Kings after a trade from the Ottawa Senators. Since signing his entry-level contract in 2018, he has played in 61 NHL games, recording 18 points.
One thing that may have swayed things in favor of an extension? Wolanin’s strong performance at this year’s World Championship, where he posted six points for Team USA and took home a bronze medal. A league-minimum two-way contract is never a bad idea for a player that has shown an ability to play at the NHL level, and in this case it very well could be a bargain for the Kings.
Wolanin will be left exposed to Seattle, but doesn’t really seem like a prime target given the other players that could be available in Los Angeles.