25-Year-Old Left Wing – Los Angeles Kings
Tanner Pearson Contract Information:
Signed a four-year, $15 million contract with the Kings in May 2017.
Pearson scored a goal in his second straight game in the Kings' 5-3 loss to the Blackhawks on Saturday.
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RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
Pearsonís first full NHL season was a successful one in that he stayed largely healthy while increasing his scoring rate, setting new career marks with 15 goals and 21 assists for 36 points, As he enters his age-24 season, though, the Kings and fantasy owners are looking for Pearson to settle in as a legitimate second-line left wing. Itís a tough task for him to replace both the toughness and the offense of his predecessor, Milan Lucic, but thatís just what the Kings need from him. No pressure. As a 2012 first-round pick, he certainly has the pedigree to deliver on that promise, but at the very minimum, Pearsonís one of the leagueís better grinders who does the dirty work in front of the net and has real finishing ability. It wouldnít be surprising to see him boost his point total into the 40s with a nice complement of hits and plus-minus.
Pearson, a first-round pick of the Kings in 2012, looked primed to fill a larger role heading into last season following his postseason breakout during the Kings' run to the Stanley Cup the previous year. In just 42 games, the winger got off to a great start with 12 goals, four assists, and a plus-14 rating that was good for second on the team. However, his season ended up being cut short due to a broken leg suffered in January, stalling his development progress. Pearson should be fully healed by the time the 2015-16 campaign kicks off, and figures to land a spot on the club's second or third line. Even in his light ice time (13:18 average TOI) last season, the 24-year-old showed he could be an effective sniper, converting on 17.6 percent of his shots. Expect Pearson's duties to be limited early on as he eases back into action following the serious injury, but before long, he could emerge as a contributor to fantasy teams in all formats.
Pearson opened eyes at AHL Manchester (17 goals and 32 points in 41 games) to earn a call-up with the Kings. He wasn't a huge factor in the regular season with just seven points in 25 games, but took his game up a notch in the playoffs to deliver 12 points in 24 games. He really seemed to click with linemates Tyler Toffoli and Jeff Carter during the postseason, so expect them to skate together again. Such an arrangement could boost the numbers for all three players.
Pearson jumped straight from the 2012 draft to the AHL and had a very nice debut (19 goals, 28 assists in 64 games) at Manchester. He spent time on the team's top line and power play, as well as killing penalties, and may give the organization some top-six potential at the left wing spot. He'll most certainly get more time to round out his game at the AHL again this season.
Pearson was a late-bloomer after getting bypassed in his first two years of draft eligiblity, but exploded last season with 91 points (37 G, 54 A) in 60 games in the OHL, earning him a first-round selection by the Kings in the 2012 Entry Draft. He'll likely head to the AHL to prove that last year's outburst wasn't a fluke.