It may have taken forward Tanner Pearson three years before finally hearing his name called at the NHL Draft, but he needed just a little over one month before signing his first professional contract.
The Stanley Cup champion Los Angeles Kings announced Friday they have signed Pearson, their first-round draft choice last June, to a three-year, entry level contract.
The Kitchener, Ontario, native, who was passed over in the 2010 and 2011 drafts, was taken with the 30th selection on June 22 at Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh.
"It's great to go to a team like the Kings," Pearson told the media after being drafted. "They're the Stanley Cup champions, so they obviously know what they're doing."
The 6-foot, 198-pound wing, who turns 20 on Aug. 10, connected for 37 goals and 91 points in his second season with the Barrie Colts of the Ontario Hockey League last season, finishing third in scoring in a junior league that produced 11 first-round picks this year. He was named an OHL Second Team All-Star at the conclusion of the season after leading his team in goals, assists and points.
A broken fibula kept Pearson from participating in the OHL playoffs.
Pearson spent three seasons with the Waterloo Siskins of the Greater Ontario Junior Hockey League before joining Barrie in the fall of 2010. Internationally, Pearson represented Team Canada at the 2012 World Junior Championship, notching one goal and six points to help his country earn a bronze medal.
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