Kings re-sign Kevin Gravel, 4 others; extend Jonny Brodzinski, Paul LaDue

Kings defenseman Kevin Gravel, left, seen tangling with Calgary’s Troy Brouwer last season, appeared in 49 NHL games after being promoted from Ontario. (Larry MacDougal/The Canadian Press via AP)
Kings defenseman Kevin Gravel, left, seen tangling with Calgary’s Troy Brouwer last season, appeared in 49 NHL games after being promoted from Ontario. (Larry MacDougal/The Canadian Press via AP)

Defenseman Kevin Gravel was one of five restricted free agents signed to one-year contracts by the Kings, General Manager Rob Blake announced Friday.

The other four — Justin Auger, Andrew Crescenzi, Zachary Leslie and Kurtis MacDermid — have yet to make their NHL debuts. All five players’ contracts are worth $650,000 at the NHL level, but Gravel is the only one likely to begin next season with the Kings.

The Kings also signed forward Jonny Brodzinski and defenseman Paul LaDue to contract extensions after the pair made their NHL debuts last season. LaDue’s one-year extension is worth $874,125 only at the NHL level. Brodzinski’s two-year extension is worth $650,000 only at the NHL level the first year and $650,000 at any level the second year.

After Gravel, 25, was promoted last season from the Ontario Reign, the Kings’ AHL affiliate, he appeared in 49 games, registering seven points, a plus-three rating and six penalty minutes. The 6-foot-4, 212-pound defenseman’s only previous NHL experience consisted of five games with the Kings during the 2015-16 season.

The Kings signed Gravel six days before the beginning of the arbitration period, avoiding a hearing with their fifth-round draft pick from 2010.

LaDue, 24, had eight assists in 22 games with the Kings last season. The franchise’s sixth-round pick in 2012 also spent 38 games with the Ontario Reign last season.

Brodzinski, 24, led the Ontario Reign with 27 goals last season. The Kings’ 2013 fifth-round draft pick made his NHL debut March 25, one of five games he played with the Kings last season.

Auger, Crescenzi, Leslie and MacDermid each spent the entirety of last season with the Ontario Reign.

Forwards Auger and Crescenzi registered 23 points and 21 points, respectively, last season. Auger, 23, is a 6-6, 233-pound right wing who has played three AHL seasons since the Kings selected him in the fourth round of the 2013 NHL draft.

Crescenzi, 24, is a 6-5, 207-pound center whom the Kings acquired in a 2014 trade with the Toronto Maple Leafs. He went undrafted and has spent parts of the past five seasons in the AHL.

Defensemen Leslie and MacDermid recorded 23 and 20 points, respectively, last season in Ontario. The 6-1, 182-pound Leslie, 23, is the Kings’ sixth-round pick from the 2013 NHL draft. The Kings signed MacDermid, 23, who is 6-5 and 239 pounds, as an unrestricted free agent in 2012.

The Kings missed the playoffs last season for the second time in three years, finishing with a 39-35-8 record, eight points out of the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference. The Kings have not won a playoff series since 2014, when they claimed their second Stanley Cup championship in three seasons.

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