EL SEGUNDO, CA — On July 20, the Los Angeles Kings signed right wing Teddy Purcell, center Justin Azevedo and defenseman Drew Bagnall to new contracts.
Purcell and Bagnall were signed to a one-year contracts while Azevedo was signed to a multi-year, entry-level deal.
Financial terms of the contracts were not disclosed, but Purcell’s contract is reported to be a one-year, one-way deal worth $600,000.
Purcell, 24, scored four goals and contributed twelve assists for sixteen points in forty regular season games with the Kings last season. He also played in 38 regular season games with the Manchester Monarchs of the American Hockey League (Kings’ primary minor league affiliate), scoring sixteen goals and adding 22 assists for 38 points with twelve penalty minutes.
“[Purcell’s contract] was in the works for a few weeks now and we got him done,” Kings assistant general manager Ron Hextall said to LAKings.com. “Teddy’s upside is absolutely enormous. He’s potentially a first and certainly a second line player.”
“He’s got to come in here and make an impact this year,” Hextall added. “It’s time to get going and use his ability to its maximum and really work hard, get down and dirty, doing all the little things in the game.”
Hextall said the Kings saw progress in Purcell’s development last season but added that he still has a ways to go.
“He’s made improvement in a lot of areas,” said Hextall. “Two years ago, to some degree, he mastered the American Hockey League. [But then] he comes up here and his ability doesn’t show up as much. I think the one thing he improved the most on was moving his feet. Teddy was a bit of a stationary player when getting in on the forecheck, giving the defense too much time to turn up. That’s the area where I see the biggest improvement. There’s also the grit and the battles. He’s improved in all of these areas but there’s still room for improvement.”
“Teddy seems real excited and focused for this year,” added Hextall. “He’s downstairs [in the weight room] working hard with the guys. We’re excited to have him under contract.”
Azevedo, 21, scored twelve goals and tallied 24 assists for 36 points with 31 penalty minutes in 49 games with the Monarchs last season.
Prior to last season, the 5-7, 180-pound native of West Lorne, Ontario played four seasons with the Kitchener Rangers of the Ontario Hockey League. In his final season with the Rangers, he scored 43 goals and added 81 assists for 124 points and was named the OHL’s Most Outstanding Player in the 2007-08 season.
Azevedo also led the Rangers in the OHL playoffs, scoring ten goals and added 26 assists for 36 points. He also led all scorers in the 2008 Memorial Cup with four goals and seven assists for eleven points in five games.
The Rangers lost to the Spokane Chiefs of the Western Hockey League in the 2008 Memorial Cup Finals.
Bagnall, 25, recorded six assists with 150 penalty minutes in 79 games last season with the Monarchs. The 6-3, 222-pound native of Oakbank, was originally signed by the Kings as an unrestricted free agent on August 23, 2007 after four seasons at St. Lawrence University.
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