Fresh on the heels of new contracts for a pair of key prospects yesterday, defenseman Brayden McNabb and forward Andy Andreoff (full details here), the Kings have now inked goaltender J.F. Berube to a two-year deal.
It’s a nice birthday present for the native of Repentigny, Quebec, who just celebrated his 23rd birthday a few days ago. Originally selected by the Kings in the fourth round (95th overall) of the 2009 NHL Entry Draft, Berube went on to wrap up his junior career as one of the top goalies in the QMJHL in 2011. Hip surgery that summer slowed him a little at the start of the following season, but he was back to his stellar self before the playoffs, posting impressive numbers with the ECHL’s Ontario Reign during his rookie campaign as a pro. This past season, he played in a career-high 48 games with the AHL’s Manchester Monarchs, posting a 28-17-2 record with a 2.37 GAA, .913 SV% and three shutouts. Among AHL rookies, he ranked first in wins (third overall), third in saves (1,151), fifth in GAA (ninth overall), sixth in SV% and tied for sixth in shutouts.
Like we noted with McNabb and Andreoff yesterday, Berube was a member of the Kings’ Black Aces during their recent run to the Stanley Cup.
His new contract calls for him to be paid $550,000 annually if in the NHL during the 2014-15 season and $575,000 for time with the club in 2015-16. His AHL salary is $65,000 both years.
One interesting element of the deal is that this coming season will be Berube’s final year of waiver exemption. Meaning, he would need to pass through waivers to be sent to the AHL in 2015-16 [ed. note: LA is believed to have a team in SoCal at that point, no longer in Manchester].
With the above trio now signed, that leaves Dwight King as the only remaining RFA for Lombardi and his key VP, Jeff Solomon, to work on this summer.
For more on Berube, see the links below.
Berube Continues To Step Up and Meet the Challenges In Goal – article for LAKings.com
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