Alex Iafallo signed a four-year, $16 million contract with the Los Angeles Kings on Monday. It has an average annual value of $4 million.
“I’m pretty excited to be here,” Iafallo said. “I’ve loved it since I got here. Just a great organization, great players along the way. With what we got now, we can do something special and I’m excited to be part of the next four years.
“Everybody kind of let me do my thing and let me play, and I didn’t have to worry too much about it. Obviously, I wanted to stay here and figure everything out, but at the end of the day, I wanted to win games and keep playing, so having both sides of things to work that out was definitely helpful.”
The 27-year-old forward is in the final season of a two-year contract and could have been an unrestricted free agent after this season.
“Having Iafallo re-sign is really important to our organization,” Kings coach Todd McLellan said. “He’s, in my opinion, a Swiss Army knife. I feel good about putting him on the ice in every situation. We’ve talked a lot about him. It’s amazing how many teammates came by me and said, ‘Hey, what’s going on with him? We got to get him signed,’ all that type of stuff. So they really want him to be here and he wants to be here, so check mark for that on the positive side.
“He’s one of those players coaches talk about, management teams talk about, maybe even fans. You really have to watch him for a while to appreciate ’em, and those guys are really valuable. You’ll see today that teams will try to get those type of players for playoff runs.”
Iafallo has scored 25 points (11 goals, 14 assists) in 39 games. The undrafted free agent signed with the Kings on April 18, 2017 and has emerged as a core player with rookie forwards Gabriel Vilardi and Jaret Anderson-Dolan, and rookie defenseman Mikey Anderson, to complement veteran forwards Anze Kopitar and Dustin Brown.
The Kings (16-18-6) are seventh in the eight-team Honda West Division, six points behind the fourth-place St. Louis Blues, entering their home game against the Vegas Golden Knights on Monday (10 p.m. ET; SN1, BSW, ATTSN-RM, NHL.TV). The top four teams in each of the four divisions will qualify for the Stanley Cup Playoffs, which Los Angeles has made twice in six seasons since winning the Stanley Cup in 2013-14, their second NHL championship in three seasons.
“I think the key with Alex was locking up what we consider our core,” Kings general manager Rob Blake said. “He’s come in here, proven to be a very versatile player, very reliable, real good fit with Kopitar and Brown over the years, but by extending him and actually taking a step forward was important for us.”
Iafallo has scored 126 points (52 goals, 74 assists) in 266 regular-season games and one goal in three playoff games.
“He had some ups and downs first couple years, but he’s been very steady,” Kopitar said. “His production has been going up. Todd shows, obviously, a lot of trust in him, putting him up on the power play and PK, and he plays in every single situation. So he’s a big part of this team.
“Most importantly, he realizes that as a team, we’re going to take the next step, he’s going be a part of this team. So it’s certainly nice for him, I’m sure, to get this out of the way and just focus on growing and getting better.”
NHL.com independent correspondent Dan Greenspan contributed to this report