The Los Angeles Kings will not sign Jake Marchment, Matt Mistele or Jacob Middleton to entry-level contracts, a hockey operations source told LA Kings Insider. If teams fail to sign CHL-based prospects from the 2014 draft class by June 1, they lose ownership of that player’s rights.
No specifics were offered on Alec Dillon, the goaltender with the Edmonton Oil Kings who underwent two hip surgeries in 2015-16, though LA Kings Insider had learned earlier this month that it was doubtful that the team would reach an agreement with him on a contract.
That the team will not come to terms with Marchment, Mistele or Middleton is not a particular sore point. Mistele and Marchment, both forwards, recently completed their 20-year-old seasons, with Marchment totaling 25 goals and 45 points with Erie as part of a 100-point, 168-game OHL career, and Mistele, a 2015 Memorial Cup winner with Oshawa, totaling 33 goals and 58 points with Oshawa and Sarnia as part of a 224-point, 272-game OHL career. Middleton completed his 19-year-old season with Ottawa by posting seven goals and 31 points and is eligible to return to the 67’s as an overager next season. CHL teams are permitted to keep three players in their 20-year-old seasons.
John Hoven of Mayor’s Manor previously suggested that AHL contract offers could be extended to “at least two” of the three skaters.
UPDATE: Any hypothetical AHL contracts would be agreed to after the NHL Draft.
Previously, Los Angeles had signed 2014 picks Adrian Kempe (first round), Alex Lintuniemi (second round), Michael Amadio (third round) and Spencer Watson (seventh round). Steven Johnson, an NCAA-based defensive prospect, is exempt from the June 1 deadline.
In other tangential prospect news, 2012 fourth round draft pick Nikolai Prokhorkin has been extended an offer sheet by KHL-SKA St. Petersburg, according to Igor Eronko. I don’t know how or to what method “offer sheets” exist in the KHL, but he had not been a central part in the Kings’ plans for some time and would not commit to playing in North America when Los Angeles and Edmonton were close to reaching an agreement that would have seen him and Teddy Purcell exchanged as part of a trade. Also (stick tap to @MattMotush for passing this along), Maxim Kitsyn has signed with KHL-Nizhny Novgorod. Kitsyn, selected in the sixth round in 2010, has played in both the AHL and ECHL variants of the Ontario Reign and Manchester Monarchs over the last three seasons and never appeared to emerge as someone likely to earn an eventual role with the Kings, totaled 55 points in 65 Manchester games this season and also got into two AHL games with Ontario.