It's been quite the summer in Los Angeles.
With training camp just one week away, the Los Angeles Kings finally locked in their lone remaining restricted free agent, agreeing to terms with defenseman Sean Durzi on a two-year contract extension worth an average annual value of $1.7 million.
The deal, which ties Durzi to Los Angeles through the 2023-24 season, keeps one of the Kings' promising young defenders under contract at a bargain rate for the next two seasons and also ensures that Durzi will remain an RFA upon expiry, keeping his rights with the team moving forward.
If he continues along his current trajectory, Durzi has the potential to turn into a vital contributor for a Kings team looking to take the next step into contention.
In 2021-22, Durzi flourished in his first full NHL season, racking up an impressive 3 goals and 24 assists for 27 points in 64 games. Essentially, Durzi scored at roughly a half-point-per-game pace while also averaging nearly 20 minutes in nightly ice time last season for a playoff team that boasted a deep blueline to begin with and didn't exactly have much ice time to give away. But Durzi earned his usage as a rookie and ran with it, helping secure the Kings' defense corps en route to a surprise postseason appearance despite being without star Drew Doughty for most of the year.
Players of that ilk are increasingly difficult to find. And the Kings, smartly, have ensured that Durzi will remain in their building for years to come, with his organizational role only expected to grow more and more as he develops into a top-four right-shot defender.