It was a career year across the board for Tanner Pearson in 2016-17, and most encouraging in fantasy settings was his climb to 2:24 of power-play time per game. The 24-year-old winger only collected eight points with the man advantage, but that also doubled his 2015-16 production. His in-game intelligence likely trumps his physical skills, but Pearson is an excellent complement to both playmakers and shoot-first scorers. Entering his age-25 campaign this season, and with an offensive role locked up, Pearson has the potential to take another step forward.
Pearson collected two assists -- including a man-advantage helper -- Saturday, but the Kings dropped the exhibition home opener to the Canucks, 4-3 in overtime. Plenty of regulars from both sides were on the ice for this initial preseason affair, but Pearson only saw 12:08; he doesn't have a whole lot to prove after placing second (only behind Jeff Carter) on the team with 24 goals last season. Interestingly, the Kings will be pitted against the Canucks in Shanghai next Thursday, and Beijing on Saturday, Sept. 23. Pearson is one of 26 players within the organization bound for China.
Pearson will be on the Kings' protected list for the expansion draft, John Hoven of Sirius XM reports. After signing a four-year contract in May, Pearson solidified his spot with the Kings after being put on the protected list. The 24-year-old was efficient last season, putting up 44 points while averaging 16:19 of ice time. His cap hit of just $3.75 million makes him an easy choice to keep around for the future of the Kings.
Pearson agreed to terms on a four-year, $15 million contract with the Kings on Tuesday. With Pearson set to become a free agent this offseason, Los Angeles decided to lock up one of its most promising young players before he was able to speak with other clubs. The 24-year-old continued to improve in his fourth campaign, posting 24 goals and 44 points, both of which were career highs by a decent margin. Pearson is proficient at getting the puck on net, as evidenced by his 187 shots on goal, and he's beginning to earn trust on the power play, where he was a mainstay this season.
Pearson's goal in the third period in Thursday's win against the Jets was also his first goal in eight games. After scoring a goal in three straight games from Feb. 27 to March 2, Pearson went ice cold, notching just one assist in his past eight games prior to facing the Jets. He's already reached a career high in points this season with 42, including seven on the power play, thanks to a huge increase in power-play ice time this season. He's a second-line scorer on a team that has trouble scoring, which makes him unreliable, but down the road should be able to consistently produce 40-50 points every season.
Pearson set up a trio of goals in Saturday's win over the Ducks. Watch out -- Pearson is getting hot. He has 11 points, including seven assists, in his last seven games. Perhaps more importantly, Pearson established a new career mark in points (37) with Saturday's burst. He's done it in 59 games, so watch for him to flirt with the 50-point mark this season.
Rank Among Leaders
Last 7 Games
|3 Year Avg||67||17||15||32||10||2||0||4||8||11||3.7|