KINGS AGREE TO TERMS WITH LAURI TUKONEN
Tukonen, 18, was the Kings' first-round selection (11th overall) in the 2004 NHL Entry Draft. He recorded 10 points (5-5=10) and 10 penalty minutes in 43 regular season games this past season with the Espoo Blues of the Finnish Elite League (SM-Liiga). The 6-2, 198-pound native of Hyvinkaa, Finland, also collected two points (1-1=2) while appearing in six games with Team Finland at the 2005 World Junior Championships.
"We're very pleased to have Lauri under contract at this time," said Taylor. "Kings fans will enjoy his robust style of play. He brings a nice mix of skill and determination to the rink each night. We look forward to him to his continued development in our organization."
Tukonen is slated to see his first action in a Kings uniform when he participates in the "Pacific Division Shootout" – a four-team rookie tournament hosted by San Jose from September 7-11.
In 2003-04, Tukonen played in 35 games with Espoo and had six points (3-3=6) and 16 penalty minutes when, as a 17-year-old, he was the youngest player in the League. He also played in seven games and was one of the top forwards for the bronze medal-winning Team Finland at the 2004 World Junior Championships. In addition, at the World under-18 tournament, he tied for the tournament lead in points with 11 while co-leading his team in goals (five), plus-minus rating (plus-7) and power play goals (two).
The Kings are now scheduled to begin training camp on Tuesday, September 13 (changed from original date of Wednesday, September 14), at the Toyota Sports Center in El Segundo.