The Kings have agreed to terms with a pair of their remaining restricted free agents as the team announced that they’ve signed forwards Gabriel Vilardi and Jaret Anderson-Dolan to one-year contracts. Vilardi receives a one-year, one-way deal worth $825K while Anderson-Dolan receives a two-way pact that’s worth $750K at the NHL level.
Vilardi was a first-round pick of Los Angeles back in 2017 (11th overall) but dealt with back trouble soon after. The 22-year-old actually played less with the Kings last season (25 games) than he did in the pandemic-shortened campaign (54 contests) with the team being a little deeper up front plus their desire to give him big minutes in the minors. In his NHL appearances, Vilardi picked five goals and two assists while averaging 13:31 per night but was much more productive with AHL Ontario, notching 15 goals and 23 helpers in just 39 contests. In his career, he has played in a total of 89 NHL contests, collecting 18 goals and 19 assists.
While Vilardi was owed a qualifying offer of just over $874K, that only had to be a two-way offer. By taking a little less than that, he was able to secure that as his guaranteed salary no matter where he plays (although he’s now waiver-eligible so it’s unlikely that he’d made it back to the Reign) while giving Los Angeles a bit of cap flexibility.
As for Anderson-Dolan, the 22-year-old is also coming off his entry-level deal. The 2017 second-rounder (41st overall) also saw less NHL action than in the pandemic-shortened season, going from 34 NHL appearances in 2020-21 to just seven in 2021-22 (where he was held off the scoresheet). He played quite well in the minors though, finishing third on the Reign in scoring with 24 goals and 23 assists in 54 games.
Anderson-Dolan also took less than his NHL qualifying offer which will result in him receiving a higher AHL salary than he would have received had he taken his qualifier. However, he’s also waiver-eligible next season and as a young center with 50 career NHL games under his belt, putting him on waivers to try to send him back to Ontario would be a little risky. Instead, he would be a candidate to break camp as an extra which wouldn’t be great for his development but would ensure he’d remain with the organization.
The Kings still have some work to do on the RFA front with defensemen Michael Anderson and Sean Durzi in need of new contracts. With limited cap space, they will likely need to pursue short-term agreements with both players in the coming days.
ESPN’s Kevin Weekes was the first to report that both players had re-signed.