The Los Angeles King signed forward Michael Latta to a one-year, $600,000 deal on Friday, according to the team. He would have become a restricted free agent at the end of his current contract.
LA has signed Michael Latta, last of WASH, to a one-year deal
— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) July 1, 2016
Latta's AAV is $600K. One-way contract, via team source.
— Jon Rosen (@lakingsinsider) July 1, 2016
The 25-year-old was originally drafted by the Nashville Predators with the 72nd overall selection in the 2009 NHL Entry Draft.
Latta appeared in 43 games and scored a career-high three goals and netted four assists, but did not appear in any postseason games for the Washington Capitals last season. The center was not given a qualifying offer by the Caps and became a free agent.
The St. Clements, Ontario native was part of one of the most lopsided trades in recent memory when he and Martin Erat were shipped to D.C. for Filip Forsberg, who has become one of the league’s most promising young scorers.
What Michael Latta Means to Los Angeles
The young forward will be helpful on the forecheck and the penalty kill. He’s solid on defense and quick in transition. Latta is hoping for more playing time as he was only getting about six minutes a night with the Capitals.
He can mix it up and drop the gloves, but Latta did say that he wants to do more than that.
Latta is part of a group of low-cost signings by the Kings, which include Jeff Zatkoff, Zach Trotman and Tom Gilbert. The Kings are right up against the salary cap with just over $1.7 million of space according to our friends at CapFriendly.
The 6-foot tall pivot does have a shot to make the team as a depth center or can get some more time with the Ontario Reign of the American Hockey League. Latta does have success at that level as he scored 14 goals in 2011-12 with the Milwaukee Admirals and again in 2013-14 with the Hershey Bears.