Kings sign defenseman Mikey Anderson to eight-year contract extension (AAV: $4,125,000)

What do you get when you add the digits in Mikey Anderson’s jersey number together? Eight……..More Years!

A massive piece of news this morning, regarding a left-shot defenseman and the LA Kings. The Kings have inked blueliner Mikey Anderson to an eight-year contract extension, carrying an AAV of $4,125,000. Anderson’s extension will kick in at the start of the 2023-24 season and it will make him the longest contracted King, the only player in the organization who is under contract into the 2030’s. Anderson will be 24 years old when his contract kicks in and he’ll be under contract with the team until he’s 32. A massive commitment from both player and team.

“We’re excited to have a player of Mikey Anderson’s caliber signed to the Kings long-term,” said LA Kings vice president and general manager Rob Blake. “Mikey has not only developed into a trusted, shut-down player on the ice, but a well-respected individual in the room that we envision continuing to grow into our leadership core.”

Anderson took a team-friendly, one-year contract extension this summer as a restricted free agent, with a cap hit of just $1,000,000. For a player who has played on the team’s top defensive pairing alongside franchise defenseman Drew Doughty, it was certainly less than he could have gotten on a longer-term basis, but he wanted to be with the organization long term and trusted that a longer-term contract would get done in due time. Being on a one-year deal, Anderson was not eligible to sign another extension until the calendar flipped from 2022 to 2023. Now that it’s happened, both sides wasted little time in getting a long-term deal done, which locks in an important piece of the puzzle for more than the foreseeable future.

As he’s developed, Anderson has grown from a mature prospect, who entered the professional ranks ready to contribute, into an impactful and shutdown defenseman at the NHL level. He’s not a player who will blow anyone away in the goals and assists department, though he demonstrates a reliable first pass, an ability to move the puck up ice with his legs and has shown more when activating offensively this season. Where he continues to excel is defensively, with a reliable presence and a stat line that shows the Kings concede substantially less when he’s on the ice than without, despite regular assignments against top players on other teams.

The Kings are allowing nearly eight fewer shot attempts per/60 and nearly four fewer scoring chances per/60 with Anderson on the ice than not. The Minnesota native ranks in the NHL’s Top-20 in both categories amongst defensemen. When expanding to a three-year sample size, Anderson ranks inside the NHL’s Top 12. Naturally, that includes the 2020-21 season, when the Kings were subpar as a team, but his importance to the group remains unquestioned.

His pairing with Doughty has formed an extremely effective duo at suppressing chances against, with both players sharing a like mentality when it comes to the defensive side of the game. Over the last three seasons, since Doughty and Anderson became a pair early in the 2020-21 campaign, the duo has been effective defensively. Among the 38 defensive pairs with at least 1,000 minutes together at 5-on-5 in that span, the Anderson-Doughty duo ranks third in fewest shots on goal against on a per/60 basis. They also rank fourth in CA/60, eighth in SCA/60 and 12th in HDCA/60. An effective duo, to say the least, especially when considering the fact that the Kings typically deploy the pairing against the opposition’s top lines on a nightly basis.

With Anderson locked in, the Kings now have five defensemen, who are currently on the roster, under contract for next season, totaling $22,625,000 in salary cap hits. Anderson joins Drew Doughty, Sean Durzi, Matt Roy and Sean Walker as those under contract for the 2023-24 campaign. Among those who have played games this season, the Kings also have Brandt Clarke, Jacob Moverare and Jordan Spence locked in next season as well, all with cap hits below $900,000.

Overall, if my calculations are correct, the Kings currently sit at a cap hit of $75,213,334 consisting of 11 forwards, five defensemen and two goaltenders, including the full hits of those who are currently injured or have buried cap hits. Among those who have played NHL games this season, Alex Edler, Brendan Lemieux and Jonathan Quick are unrestricted free agents this summer. Restricted free agents include Jaret Anderson-Dolan, Lias Andersson, Tobias Bjornfot, Samuel Fagemo, Rasmus Kupari and Gabe Vilardi. We don’t yet know what next season’s cap ceiling will be for sure, but current projections have it coming in at $83,500,000, though that could rise by a larger total should that whole escrow situation be resolved. More on that later.

For now, it’s eight more years of Mikey! Will chat with him after practice today and share everyone’s thoughts later on this afternoon.

From the team’s official release –
The LA Kings have signed defenseman Mikey Anderson to an eight-year contract extension worth an average annual value (AAV) of $4,125,000 through the 2030-31 season.

Anderson, 23, is in the midst of a career year with single-season highs in assists (11), points (13), plus-minus (plus-10), shots (60), blocked shots (69), time-on-ice per game (21:49) and shorthanded time-on-ice per game (2:26), while sitting tied for his career best with two goals. He is one of only seven Kings skaters to appear in all 55 of the team’s games this season, sitting three appearances shy of establishing another career high.

A fourth round (103rd overall) selection by the Kings at the 2017 NHL Draft, Anderson has tallied 33 points (6-27=33) with a plus-20 rating and 70 penalty minutes (PIM) in 172 career NHL games. The 6-0, 195-pound blueliner also made his Stanley Cup Playoffs debut last season, appearing in seven contests and earning his first postseason point (0-1=1) while averaging 19:49 time-on-ice per game. Anderson began his professional career in the 2019-20 season with the Ontario Reign (AHL), where he registered 15 points (3-12=15) in 53 games before making his NHL debut with the Kings on Feb. 29, 2020.

Prior to his professional career, Anderson attended the University of Minnesota-Duluth (2017-19) where he helped the Bulldogs capture back-to-back NCAA National Championships (2018-19) as well as an NCHC Championship (2019). He combined for 50 points (11-39=50) in 79 regular-season games and was named an honorable mention to the NCHC All-Star Team his sophomore season (2018-19). Before Minnesota-Duluth, Anderson skated in two seasons of junior hockey with the Waterloo Black Hawks of the United States Hockey League (USHL), totaling 50 points (6-44=50) in 111 appearances along with eight points (5-3=8) in 17 playoff games.

The Roseville, Minnesota native has represented the United States in two IIHF World Junior Championships, captaining the U.S. to a silver medal in 2019 just one year after he and his brother, Joey, helped the U.S. earn a bronze medal on home ice in 2018. In 14 games representing Team USA, Anderson has tallied six points (2-4=6).

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