KINGS SIGN FORWARD BRIAN WILLSIE
Willsie, 28, recorded career highs for goals (19), assists (22), points (41) and penalty minutes (77) in a team-high 82 regular season games with the Washington Capitals this past season. In addition, the 6-1, 202-pound native of London, Ontario, finished second on his club with 185 shots while he was the only player with Washington to appear in every game this season.
"At 28 years of age, Brian has a lot of productive years ahead of him," said Lombardi. "He began his NHL career with Colorado, a winning organization, and he elevated his overall game while in Washington. We expect him to be a solid all-around player with us in Los Angeles and to provide a winning attitude and competitive nature. He is a very versatile player in that he can play both wing positions effectively, and he brings a good deal of experience with him as well."
Originally drafted by the Colorado Avalanche in the sixth-round (146th overall) in the 1996 NHL Entry Draft, Willsie has 71 points (36-35=71) and 124 penalty minutes in 200 career NHL regular season games with the Capitals and the Avalanche. In 10 career post-season NHL contests (all with Colorado), he has two points (1-1=2) and four penalty minutes.
Prior to turning pro, Willsie represented Team Canada at the 1998 World Junior Championship, where he posted two assists in seven games. Willsie's junior career also included three seasons with the Guelph Storm of the Ontario Hockey League where he recorded 178 points (95-83=178) and 96 penalty minutes in 186 regular season games and led his club to two Memorial Cup appearances (1996 and 1998).