The LA Kings have signed a pair to entry-level deals, assigning them and two others to the AHL’s Ontario Reign.
It was a relatively busy Monday for the LA Kings organization as they inked two players to entry-level deals. Goaltender David Hrenak signed a one-year deal worth $842,500 while forward Andre Lee put pen to paper on a two-year deal paying him $883,750 AAV.
The @LAKings have signed David Hrenak (G) and Andre Lee (F) to entry-level contracts. Hrenak and Lee, along with Kim Nouisianen (D) and Samuel Helenius (F), will join the @ontarioreign (AHL).https://t.co/FtJF1puSzr
— LA Kings PR (@LAKingsPR) March 29, 2022
The rumored Helenius addition to the Reign was reported last week while reports of Hrenak’s signing came about yesterday. For Hranek, if Garret Sparks is still out with injury, he could see backup duty with the Reign. The team had recently recalled Lukas Parik to back up Matt Villalta, but the latter got both starts in a weekend back-to-back. Parik has spent most of the season with Rapid City of the ECHL and could be on his way back there with the Hranek signing.
Like Helenius, Lee, 21, is another hulking forward. The 6’5″ University of Massachusetts-Lowell product was a seventh-round pick of the Kings in the 2019 NHL Draft. In his three-year college career, he amassed 31 goals and 64 points in 87 games.
For a big body, Lee does have some silky hands:
— J.D. Burke (@JDylanBurke) November 21, 2021
Helenius and Lee will join a battered group of Reign forwards. They’ve been without Martin Frk, Alex Turcotte, and Tyler Madden of late, not to mention all of the forwards in Los Angeles. The pair should have an opportunity to see if they can carve out a roster spot for the playoffs.
Finnish defenseman Kim Nousiainen has played 35 games for KalPa in Liiga, picking up 14 points in 35 games.
Drafted in the same 2019 draft that Lee was, but in the fourth round, the 21-year-old Nousiainen has spent parts of four seasons in Finland’s top league, dating back to his age-18 season. In 146 Liiga games overall, the left-shot defenseman had 60 points (19+41).
The 5’9″ Nousiainen has shown the ability to be a threat in the offensive zone and on the power-play:
Nousiainen etsii väylän ja Aapeli ohjaa! 🔥
— KalPa (@KalPa_Hockey) February 3, 2022
Of the bunch, Nousiainen could get a real opportunity. The current left-side of the Reign defense corps is Cameron Gaunce, Thomas Hickey, and Christian Kasastul. None of which possess the offensive potential that Nousiainen does. He could see some time on a power-play that has been struggling of late, despite still being the top unit in the AHL.
With multiple call-ups and injuries, the Reign roster has needed some depth. These four additions will give the coaching staff more options until some of the regulars are able to return.