The Los Angeles Kings have signed University of North Dakota defenseman Paul LaDue to a one-year, entry-level contract worth $925,000, the team announced Friday.
The Kings drafted LaDue in the 6th round (191st overall) of the 2012 draft. The Kings pushed hard to get LaDue on contract last summer, but he chose to return for another year at North Dakota saying, “Either side, I don’t think, would’ve been a wrong choice. I just felt that going back for one more year will help me out in the long run, and I’m excited, more than ever, to come [to Los Angeles] and work with these guys when the time comes.”
— North Dakota MHockey (@UNDmhockey) April 29, 2016
LaDue is the fourth underclassmen the national champions have lost this offseason, along with Luke Johnson (CHI), Troy Stecher (VAN) and Keaton Thompson (ANA).
LaDue was a pivotal player in North Dakota’s success this season, leading the team’s blue line. He finished out his junior year with five goals and 19 points in 41 games, as well as a career-high plus-31 rating.
In total, he played 123 games at UND, scoring 16 goals and 46 assists, with a plus-53 rating.
Dustin Nelson is the News Editor for The Hockey Writers. He’s a contributor to Hockey Prospectus, Hockey Wilderness, and writes a column for Rotowire. He’s also written for Gone Puck Wild, Wild Xtra, InDigest, Electric Literature, The Rumpus, Tiny Mix Tapes, Prefix Magazine & other publications. Have a tip? Email him at dlukenelson[at]gmail[dot]com.