The Kings re-signed restricted free-agent defenseman Jack Johnson to a two-year contract Friday with an annual cap hit of $1.425 million, a deal that gives Johnson time to "prove what level player he can get to," according to Assistant General Manager Ron Hextall.
Johnson, 22, played only 41 games last season after undergoing shoulder surgery. He has offensive skills but has had trouble in his own zone, and his return had rocky moments. However, Hextall said the club's management strongly believes in Johnson's potential.
"To me, he's a big part of our young core," said Hextall, speaking for vacationing GM Dean Lombardi. "You look at Drew Doughty and Jack Johnson and you look at two pillars of our young defense.
"He didn't have a great year. He got hurt, and it's tough to come back when everyone else is going 100 mph. He had some good points and some points where he didn't play his best hockey, but he played solid for us two years ago."