Seattle Thunderbirds defenseman Austin Strand has signed a three-year entry level contract with the Los Angeles Kings.
“We are very excited for Austin with his signing a NHL contract with the Los Angeles Kings,” general manager Russ Farwell said Monday. “He has worked hard on his game and came in this year with a determined attitude to continue to improve and had a great start to the season. It is always great to see guys get rewarded. There is a lot of upside yet in his game, but a big man who can really skate is what made him attractive as a prospect.
“He has played very well for us since coming in last year,” Farwell said, “and he and Aaron Hyman were huge pieces for us winning the WHL championship last season. We look forward to watching him develop the rest of the year.”
Strand leads the T-Birds in scoring with 10 goals and 16 assists for 26 points in 24 games. Strand is tied for fifth in the WHL in scoring by defenseman. Nine of Strand’s 10 goals have come on the power play.
Strand had four goals and 10 assists for 14 points in 20 playoff games last season for the T-Birds. He scored the T-Birds’ second goal in a 4-2 loss to the Erie Otters in the team’s first game at the 2017 Memorial Cup.
Strand was acquired from the Red Deer Rebels on Dec. 30, 2016, for defenseman Brandon Schuldhaus.