As the league continues its trade deadline frenzy, the Los Angeles Kings have decided to complete a little contract work. Blake Lizotte has signed a two-year contract extension with the Kings, one that will carry an average annual value of $1.675MM. Lizotte was a pending restricted free agent but is now under contract through 2023-24.
After once again proving that he can handle his own as a depth center, the undersized Lizotte is rewarded with a nice raise. Undrafted, the former USHL star exploded onto NHL radars while at St. Cloud State and immediately stepped into the highest level after signing with the Kings in 2019. He has played 58 games for the Kings this season, adding eight goals and 17 points while being a strong contributor on the penalty kill.
While he isn’t pummelled with defensive zone faceoffs like some depth centers–because of the presence of both Anze Kopitar and Phillip Danault–Lizotte still isn’t gifted easy minutes for the Kings and yet continues to find success in terms of possession statistics. That has made him a worthwhile extension candidate, especially as the team continues to improve.
A deal like this doesn’t offer a ton of upside, but it’s a nice reward for a hard-working player that was earning just $800K this season. Lizotte will still be a restricted free agent when it expires.