The Los Angeles Kings have signed forward Nic Dowd and goaltender Jack Campbell to two-year contracts while making official the previously reported two-year extension to Derek Forbort. Via hockey operations, Dowd’s cap hit is $640,000 and Campbell’s $612.5; as had been noted Sunday, Forbort’s contract was for a $650K average annual value.
With the signings, Andrew Crescenzi becomes the only player in the organization who remains a restricted free agent and without a contract.
Dowd, already 26 years of age, was originally selected in the seventh round in 2009, and when he made his debut at Minnesota on March 22, became the eighth player from the club’s 2009 draft class to have played an NHL game, joining Brayden Schenn, Kyle Clifford, Nicolas Deslauriers, J-F Berube, Linden Vey, Brandon Kozun and Jordan Nolan. The former St. Cloud State Husky was held without a point in five games but recorded a +1 rating in his Los Angeles stint. A Huntsville, Alabama native, Dowd has 23 goals and 92 points in 140 regular season AHL games and 12 goals and 25 points in 36 AHL playoff games.
Hockey operations has been fond of Dowd, who hit his stride developmentally at an advanced age. A defensively responsible player capable of making small plays in all zones of the ice, Dowd has good speed, a good motor, and should have an inside shot at earning a spot on this upcoming Kings team, given the team’s desire to turn some of its reins to its young players. He would have to clear waivers to be assigned back to the AHL and should see competition from Andy Andreoff, Nick Shore, Trevor Lewis and Michael Latta, among others, for a depth center role. The Huntsville, Alabama native finished second on Ontario with 48 points in 58 games played last season.
Campbell, 24, was acquired from Dallas in exchange for defensive prospect Nick Ebert on June 25 in a trade that exchanged the 11th player selected in 2010 for the final player selected in 2012. A highly regarded prospect out of U.S. National Team Development Program, Campbell appeared in three World Junior Championships with the United States and was the goalie of record in the 2010 gold medal game, in which he stopped 32-of-34 shots after entering the game in the second period. (Martin Jones, who replaced Jake Allen, took the loss on John Carlson’s game-winner 4:21 into overtime.) Campbell earned a bronze medal alongside Trevor Lewis for the United States’ 2015 World Championship team.
The Port Huron, Michigan native has appeared in one NHL game, making 41 saves in a 6-3 loss at Anaheim early in the 2013-14 season. He appeared in 122 regular season games with the Texas Stars, posting a record of 56-43-10 with a 2.79 goals-against average and a .908 save percentage with nine shutouts. He won the 2014 Calder Cup with AHL-Texas.
Campbell will compete for footing in Los Angeles’ goaltending hierarchy come training camp and should be expected to open the season with AHL-Ontario. A low-risk goaltender who has not yet yielded high rewards but carries a much higher ceiling than a more traditional AHL backup, Campbell will work with Bill Ranford and Dusty Imoo and perhaps benefit from a change of scenery as he looks to fulfill the promise he established coming out of the USNTDP.
For more on Forbort’s extension, click here.
It’s too early to see how this definitively impacts Los Angeles’ financials given the strong competition for depth roles, the expected roster moves and theoretical trades in advance of the start of the season. As of today, based on financials provided by General Fanager, the Kings have allocated approximately $71.68M to 23 players for the 2016-17 season, figures that include Mike Richards’ cap recapture but not the cap hits for Michael Mersch ($787K), Gravel ($668K), Forbort ($650K) or Dowd ($640K), four rookies with an opportunity to earn a spot on the team. Should these players unseat a more expensive asset already under contract, the team’s combined payroll would be reduced further. Teams may have up to 23 players on the active roster; the 2016-17 salary cap has been set at $73M.