The LA Kings signed defenseman Sean Walker to a four-year extension on Friday, at a very modest AAV. The deal is a win for both parties.
On Friday, the LA Kings announced that they had signed Sean Walker to a four-year extension, worth a $2.65M AAV. Walker, 25, went undrafted out of Bowling Green and signed with the Ontario Reign before the 2017-2018 season.
The Keswick, Ontario native was one of the final restricted free agents that the Kings had to re-sign. While general manager Rob Blake prefers the two-to-three-year range for his RFA’s, the fact that Walker was signed for four more years is indicative of how valuable he is to this club.
After playing in 39 games last year, in which he scored three goals with seven assists for 10 points, Walker took a major step forward in the COVID-19 shortened season, tallying five goals with 19 assists for 24 points in 70 games. He had a 54.8 CorsiFor percentage and a 3.8 point share, broken down into a 1.3 OPS and 2.5 DPS.
For reference, his 2.5 DPS was fourth-best on the Kings roster.
He spent the majority of his time on the third defensive pairing with Kurtis MacDermid but also saw time on the first and second pairings with Drew Doughty and Alec Martinez, respectively.
Evolving Hockey projected his next contract at four years at a $3.8M AAV, so this is also a win for the LA Kings from a financial investment. Walker has had to work a little bit harder than most guys, especially going undrafted. He was the Captain at Bowling Green for two years before signing with Ontario.
And facing adversity with the prospect pool on the way, Walker has to feel a sense of relief knowing the Kings think highly of him, or at least enough to extend a four-year contract. He’ll be an excellent mentor for Kale Clague, who is expected to get a long look this season.
Walker joins fellow restricted free agents Carl Grundstrom and Austin Wagner, receiving brand new deals. Look for Walker to take another step developmentally in the 2020-2021 season.