Kings Sign Frederic Allard and Matthew Villalta to Contract Extensions
The LA Kings have signed defenseman Frederic Allard and goaltender Matthew Villalta to one-year, two-way contract extensions. Allard’s contract is worth an average annual value (AAV) of $750,000, while Villalta’s contract is worth an AAV of $787,500.
The Kings acquired Allard, 24, on March 21, 2022, from the Nashville Predators in exchange for forward Brayden Burke. Upon joining the Ontario Reign of the American Hockey League, the 6-1, 180-pound defenseman registered 10 points (3-7=10) in 15 games. He added three points (1-2=3) in five playoff games to help the Reign sweep the Pacific Division first round and advance to the second round.
Allard opened the 2020-21 season on loan with Villacher SV of the Austrian League. There, he tallied 13 points (4-9=13) in 25 appearances before being reassigned to the AHL’s Chicago Wolves on Feb. 15, 2021. A month after reassignment, Allard made his NHL debut with the Predators on March 13, 2021.
Originally drafted by the Predators in the third round (78th overall) of the 2016 NHL Draft, Allard has played one NHL game and appeared in 257 regular-season AHL games with the Milwaukee Admirals, Reign, and Wolves, totaling 107 points (21-86=107). He has also skated in 10 AHL Calder Cup playoff games, registering five points (2-3=5) in those appearances. Before joining the professional ranks, the Saint-Sauveur, Quebec native skated four seasons with Chicoutimi Sauguenéens of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, posting 177 points (34-143=177) in 250 appearances and went on to add 19 points (5-14=19) in 31 playoff games.
This past season, Villalta registered career-highs with the Reign by posting a 28-10-7 record, 2.98 goals-against-average, and .903 save percentage in 46 appearances. Among all AHL goaltenders, the 23-year-old ranked third in wins (28) and fourth in minutes played (2660:32) as he helped the Reign return to the AHL Calder Cup Playoffs. In the playoffs, Villalta registered back-to-back wins in the Pacific Division First Round to help the Reign advance to the second round before being recalled by the Kings on an emergency basis.
The 2021-22 season marked the third full season of professional hockey for the 6-2, 185-pound goaltender who has spent time in both the AHL and the ECHL. In 86 AHL regular-season games, Villalta has accumulated a 46-24-10 record with a 3.14 goals-against-average and a .899 save percentage. In 2019-20, he also appeared in eight ECHL games with the Fort Wayne Komets, posting a 4-3-1 record with a 3.43 goals-against-average and .864 save percentage.
The Kings drafted Villalta in the third round (72nd overall) of the 2017 NHL Draft after three seasons (2016-19) with the Soo Greyhounds of the Ontario Hockey League. The Kingston, Ontario native finished his career with a 98-20-9 record, 2.71 goals-against-average, and .908 save percentage while also posting a 21-15-0 record, 3.38 goals-against-average, and .889 save percentage in 37 playoff outings. In 2017-18, he registered a league-leading 40 wins and 2.58 goals-against-average in the regular season before posting 14 wins in 24 playoff appearances to guide the Greyhounds to the Championship Series of the OHL Playoffs.