Daily News Kings re-sign Andre Lee to a one-year, two-way contract


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The Kings have re-signed forward Andre Lee to a one-year, two-way contract worth as much as $775,000, the club shared in a news release Wednesday.

Lee completed his second full season and third overall with the Kings’ top minor-league affiliate, the Ontario Reign, notching 13 points in 36 games and four points (all goals) in eight playoff appearances.

At 6’5” and firmly above 200 pounds, Lee projects as a checker whose energy and physicality will likely be what open doors for the 2019 seventh-rounder. He produced respectable if not impressive offense at lower levels of competition, but his minor pro career to date suggests he will have to make it as a bottom-six banger to reach the big show.

He joins Akil Thomas and Quinton Byfield among Black players in the Kings’ organization. Thomas made his NHL debut with the Kings last season, notching three goals and an assist in seven games, while Byfield enjoyed a breakout campaign, highlighted by a four-month stretch in which he scored 40 points. When Byfield debuted in 2021, he was the first Black player to dress for the Kings since Hall of Famer Jarome Iginla’s 19-game stint in 2017, and before that 1,037-game veteran Wayne Simmonds’ three seasons in black and silver before he was traded to the Philadelphia Flyers in 2011.

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While Thomas, Byfield, Iginla and Simmonds all hail from Canada, Lee was born and raised in Sweden before coming to the United States to compete for one year at the junior level and three years in the NCAA for UMass-Lowell. Should he reach the NHL, he’d join a small but relatively illustrious group of Black Swedes that included former Chicago Blackhawks Stanley Cup champion Johnny Oduya, the Calgary Flames’ Masterton Trophy finalist Oliver Kylington and Detroit Red Wings lottery pick Lucas Raymond.

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