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Hutton agrees to one-year contract with Kings

Defenseman gets $1.5 million, was unrestricted free agent

by @NHLdotcom

Ben Hutton agreed to terms on a one-year, $1.5 million contract with the Los Angeles Kings on Tuesday.

The 26-year-old defenseman had an NHL career-high 20 points (five goals 15 assists) in 69 games with the Vancouver Canucks last season.

Selected by Vancouver in the fifth round (No. 147) of the 2012 NHL Draft, Hutton has 70 points (11 goals, 59 assists) and is minus-75 in 276 regular-season games.

Hutton said he thought the Kings were a good fit for him based on the makeup of their roster.

"I mean, they've got some good young players," he said Thursday, "and obviously they've got guys like [defenseman Drew] Doughty and [center Anze] Kopitar that can really lead the charge, so I thought if I came in and could help out, get some wins under our belt, that would be good.

"[I was] trying to make a decision, find the right fit, find the right home. ... I was doing the same thing as every other player, getting ready for next season, training, skating. And then more and more players kept going away to camp. And then camp started, and then I was like, 'Uh oh.' Like, I'm really stressing out. But I'm here now and I couldn't be happier."

Hutton said he appreciated the Los Angeles players making him feel welcome, especially because he had not previously played with -- or knew -- any of them.

"I think every single one of them has been friendly, asking me where I'm from and stuff like that," he said. "It was weird. I didn't know any player on this team. Usually in the hockey world you somehow know somebody, but, yeah, unfortunately, I didn't. But they're making me feel right at home so it's good."

Kings coach Todd McLellan said Hutton should add quality depth to Los Angeles' defensemen, a unit dealing with injuries during training camp.

"Well, with our situation here, [Paul] LaDue still not being ready to play, and [Derek] Forbort injured and struggling to get healthy right now -- no one has any idea on his timeline -- a position that we thought we may have a little bit of depth in, all of a sudden it's gone quite quickly," McLellan said. "So first thing he'll do is provide us an NHL presence, somebody that has played a number of games. He's played in the Pacific Division. He's been able to play 15-20 minutes a night, and for me, he's a mobile puck-mover.

"Veteran players have played in the League, they already have that sense of time and space, and nerves, and what it's going to feel like to play in a building, so he's got that under his belt already. The big thing for him was getting his personal life in order here. Finding comfort in the community, finding somewhere to live and do all that type of stuff so that's all put aside by the time the regular season starts. He's probably behind in that area. The hockey concepts, he'll catch up real quick." independent correspondent Dan Greenspan contributed to this report

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