Brad Schlossman of the Grand Forks Herald reports that University of North Dakota defenseman Derek Forbort will forgo his senior season to sign a pro contract with the Los Angeles Kings. Kings general manager Dean Lombardi said in a press conference earlier this week that the team would make an effort to sign Forbort this summer.
Forbort, a 21 year-old from Duluth, MN, was the 15th overall pick in 2010 by the Kings. Forbort tallied 4 goals and 13 assists for 17 points this season for North Dakota, which were career highs in goals and points. Forbort was also a two-time member of the US World Juniors team.
While he developed into a dependable defenseman while at North Dakota, Forbort never really developed the physical game, or turned into the dominating player that many hoped he could become when he was first drafted so highly by the Kings.
This could be the first early college signing in a busy summer by the Kings. In addition to Forbort, Lombardi also said his team would talk with prospects Nick Shore of Denver,and Michael Mersch of Wisconsin soon, and the Kings also hold the rights to St. Cloud's Nic Dowd, who could become a target once St. Cloud's season ends.
UPDATE: The Los Angeles Kings announced that the signing was official on Friday night.