by Kyle Cushman
The Los Angeles Kings have reportedly come to terms with top goaltending prospect Cal Petersen. The contract can not be finalized until July 1.
Hearing that the Kings will sign goalie Cal Peterson of Notre Dame.
— Jon Rosen (@lakingsinsider) June 28, 2017
Los Angeles Kings to Sign Goaltender Cal Petersen
Petersen was a fifth-round pick of the Buffalo Sabres back in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft. The native of Waterloo, Iowa played three standout years at Notre Dame, emerging as a very solid goaltending prospect.
As a freshman with the Fighting Irish, Petersen played 33 games, finishing with a 2.51 goals-against average (GAA) and a .919 save percentage (SV%). The following year Petersen began to prove himself as a top prospect, finishing his sophomore season with an impressive 2.20 GAA and a .927 SV% in 37 games.
This past year, as a junior, Petersen continued to impress, posting a 2.22 GAA and a .926 SV% in a career-high 40 games.
Last month Petersen announced his intentions to leave Notre Dame to begin his professional career at age 22. The Sabres had 30 days to sign Petersen or he would become an unrestricted free agent. Petersen does not become a free agent until July 1, meaning the contract with the Kings will not be final until at the earliest, Saturday.
Listed at 6-foot-1 and 182 pounds, Petersen will likely start with the Ontario Reign of the AHL. Behind Jonathan Quick, the Kings are thin in goal. Penciled in as the backup is Jeff Zatkoff, who played split time between the NHL and AHL last year. The Reign’s starter last year was former first round pick, Jack Campbell. He played 52 games with Ontario, finishing with a 2.52 GAA and a .914 SV%.
The Kings are in the process of filling out their organizational depth in goal. Los Angeles drafted Sault Ste. Marie Greyhound Matt Villalta in the third round last Friday.
Cal Petersen obviously saw the lack of depth at the position and believes he has a chance to develop into a starter in Los Angeles. Petersen could challenge for time as Quick’s backup come October, but he is best suited in the AHL to develop.