The right-handed defender was selected by the Kings with the eighth-overall pick in this year’s NHL Draft. He spent this past season playing in Slovakia’s highest professional league, where he scored five goals and 15 points in 26 games.
It’s tough to say how far off Clarke is from reaching the NHL, though with Drew Doughty, Matt Roy and Sean Walker currently occupying the right side of the team’s defense group, there shouldn’t be any reason to rush Clarke onto the roster. It’s likely that we'll see the defenseman return to the OHL’s Barrie Colts next season, given that he won’t be eligible to play in the AHL yet. Assuming Clarke doesn't play more than nine games with the Kings next season, the contract will slide and the team won't burn the first year of his deal.
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When do you expect Brandt Clarke to make the jump to the NHL?