The Kings and forward Patrick Bjorkstrand agreed Thursday on a one-season, $667,500 contract. Bjorkstrand, a 6-foot, 192-pound Dane, participated in the Kings’ development camp last week in El Segundo. The 24-year-old played last season for a team in Zagreb, Croatia, in the KHL. He had 13 goals and 22 points in 57 games. He also has played for Denmark in the past four World Championships. He is a left-handed shot who can play either wing. He signed as an unrestricted free agent.
Here’s the report on him via eliteprospects.com: “Bjorkstrand is a forward with nice hands and playmaking ability. Has good vision and anticipation on the ice. He also has that winning mentality.”
The NHL draft is June 24-25 in Buffalo, N.Y. Here is a list of the Kings’ four draft picks (as of May 16):
Second round, fourth, fifth and seventh.
The Kings dealt their first-round pick to the Carolina Hurricanes to acquire defenseman Andrej Sekera on Feb. 25, 2015. Sekera became a free agent after the 2014-15 season and signed a six-year, $33-million contract with the Edmonton Oilers.
The Kings signed forward Spencer Watson to a three-season entry-level contract Thursday. Watson, 19, was their seventh-round draft pick (209th overall) in 2014. He played 64 games this season with Kingston of the junior-level Ontario Hockey League and scored 43 goals and 89 points.
The Kings on Tuesday assigned forward Nic Dowd and defenseman Kevin Gravel to the Ontario Reign of the American Hockey League. Neither was expected to play with the Kings during the Stanley Cup playoffs. They will be counted on with the Reign during the upcoming Calder Cup playoffs, however.
The Kings signed forward Michael Amadio to a three-year entry-level contract Sunday. The 19-year-old Amadio was the Kings’ third-round pick (90th overall) in the 2014 draft. He has 48 goals and 94 points in 65 games this season with North Bay of the junior-level Ontario Hockey League.
The Kings sent a pick and a prospect to the Carolina Hurricanes to get veteran winger Kris Versteeg on Sunday. Versteeg is a well-traveled one, having played for the Hurricanes, Chicago Blackhawks, Florida Panthers, Philadelphia Flyers and Toronto Maple Leafs during a nine-year career. He was a member of the Blackhawks’ Stanley Cup championship teams in 2010 and ’15.
“He’s been around,” Kings center Anze Kopitar said of the 29-year-old Versteeg. “He has two (Stanley Cup wins), so obviously he knows what it takes. From playing against him, I know he’s got good kill and he’s got some edge to him too, which certainly fits with this team (the Kings).”
The Kings sent prospect Valentin Zykov and a conditional fifth-round draft pick to Carolina to get Versteeg, who had 11 goals and 33 points in 63 games this season.
The Kings recalled forward Michael Mersch from the Ontario Reign of the American Hockey League in advance of Saturday’s game against the Nashville Predators. The Kings were already without winger Marian Gaborik, who could be sidelined for the rest of the regular season because of a knee injury, but then center Anze Kopitar was forced from a 2-1 overtime loss Thursday to the St. Louis Blues because of a lower-body injury. Kopitar played only in the first period.
Kopitar’s status was termed day to day, but Saturday isn’t expected to be his day.
The 23-year-old Mersch had one goal and three points in 15 games with the Kings earlier this season..He also had 19 goals and 28 points in 34 games with the Reign before he was recalled. He led the team in goals and was 10th in the league. He also had a plus-6 defensive rating and 22 penalty minutes.
Kings defenseman Christian Ehrhoff cleared waivers Thursday at 9 a.m., and that wasn’t a big surprise. The Kings could send him to the Ontario Reign of the American Hockey League, clearing the way to recall defenseman Kevin Gravel.
The Kings on Friday assigned forward Michael Mersch to the Ontario Reign of the American Hockey League, which means he could play in their game against the San Diego Gulls and then rejoin the Kings for Saturday’s game against the Ottawa Senators at Staples Center. See how that works?
Mersch has scored one goal and three points in 15 games with the Kings.
He has 12 goals and 15 points in 19 games with the Reign.
The Kings on Wednesday assigned forward Michael Mersch to their American Hockey League team in Ontario. Mersch played six games for the Kings and made his NHL debut Dec. 11 against the Pittsburgh Penguins. He was scoreless with a minus-2 defensive rating. The 23-year-old Mersch had 12 goals and 15 points in 19 games with the Reign before the Kings recalled him.