Kings sign Joakim Ryan, Martin Frk
Rob Blake brings on some depth for the organization.
Rob Blake bolstered the bottom of the Los Angeles Kings lineup with some depth, signing two players on the first day of free agency.
Ryan, a left shot defenseman, was selected by the San Jose Sharks in the seventh round of the 2012 NHL Draft. The 26-year old has played four full professional seasons with the Sharks, spending the entirety of 2018-19 and all but two games of 2017-18 in the NHL.
Ryan enjoyed early success with the Sharks but seemed to lose the confidence of coach Peter De Boer last season as he spent much of his time in the press box. The Sharks’ blue line is fairly crowded as it is, and a cap crunch thanks to the signing of Erik Karlsson meant that some players had to be moved out.
2018-19 Season Review: Coaches lose confidence in Joakim Ryan
At even strength, he brought a slight impact offensively to the Sharks — although with just seven points in 44 games, it didn’t show up under his name on the stat sheet — but occasionally was a defensive liability for the team, as well.
Back to defence, Joakim Ryan might find himself off a stacked SJ blueline after having some difficulty in his own end last year. That being said, he's roughly around the average of most NHL players and he could allow you to outscore the opposition for <$1.5m for 2 years. pic.twitter.com/u8Jo0xrtlC— WPGChief (@WPG_Chief) June 27, 2019
Ryan gets the chance to somewhat rehabilitate his career and will most likely serve as the seventh defenseman for the Kings. That would send Kurtis MacDermid back to the Ontario Reign to serve as their most veteran defenseman (unless any other signings are imminent) and would probably also mean that one of Sean Walker or Matt Roy, both of whom are waivers exempt, will be heading back to the AHL.
Ryan would need to pass through waivers if the Kings wanted to reassign him. His contract is for one year at $725,000 and is a one-way deal, meaning he gets paid the same amount whether he is in the NHL or AHL.
Frk, a 25-year old right winger from the Czech Republic, was selected in the second round of the 2012 draft by the Detroit Red Wings. He won the AHL’s Calder Cup in 2016-17 with the Grand Rapids Grifins, recording 15 points in 16 playoff games that season.
Largely known for his hard shot, Frk has struggled to replicate his AHL success at the NHL level. In 100 career NHL games, spread between the Detroit Red Wings and Carolina Hurricanes (who briefly claimed him off waivers in 2016-17), Frk has 12 goals and 19 assists.
Frk spent much of the 2018-19 season with the Detroit Red Wings, often sitting as a healthy scratch. When he was returned to the AHL, he recorded 14 points in 13 regular season games and three points in three playoff games. Frk often skated with Red Wings top prospect Filip Zadina; the pair helped drive offense for the Griffins.
Griffins 2018-19 Second Half Report Cards
While it’s possible that Frk could compete for an NHL spot, he’s most likely destined for the Ontario Reign. He could get in a few games with the Kings as a call-up, as he’s already shown that he can at least hang in the NHL, even if he can’t quite score.
Frk’s contract is a one year, two-way contract; he will carry a $700,000 cap hit in the NHL.