EL SEGUNDO, CA: The Los Angeles Kings have signed right wing Petr Kanko to a three-year contract, Kings Senior Vice President/General Manager Dave Taylor announced today. Per club policy, terms of the agreement were not announced.
Kanko, 19, played in 60 regular season games this past season for the Memorial Cup Champion Kitchener Rangers of the Ontario Hockey League (OHL), where he recorded 67 points – including 33 goals – and 123 penalty minutes. Kanko’s 67 points tied him for third most on the club, while his 33 goals were second and his five short-handed goals tied for the team lead. Kanko’s Kitchener squad also captured the Midwest Division after posting an impressive 46-14-5-3 regular season record.
During the post-season, Kanko played a major role in Kitchener’s run to the Memorial Cup Championship. He played in 20 of Kitchener’s 21 playoff games and helped the Rangers to the Ontario Hockey League Championship after recording 27 points (tied for second most on the team and fourth overall) and 11 goals (also tied for second). Following the OHL Championship, he helped lead the Rangers to the win at the Memorial Cup tournament, besting Hull of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League in the Finals after recording a Cup-leading four goals and one assist in four games. Kanko also posted a plus five rating, which was third best in the tourney.
Originally selected by the Kings in the third-round (66th overall) in the 2002 NHL Entry Draft, the 5-9, 195-pound Kanko is a native of Pribram, Czech Republic. Kanko, who took part in last summer’s Kings Development Camp in El Segundo, also spent the 2001-02 season with Kitchener (60 points in 61 games). This past season the local Kitchener fans voted him as the Rangers’ “Most Popular Player” and he was on the winning squad at the 2003 Hershey Cup All-Star Game.
Internationally, Kanko represented his native Czech Republic at the 2001 World Juniors Under-18 tournament in Finland, where he recorded seven points in seven games, including six goals.