The graduating Saint John Sea Dogs forward was drafted by the Tampa Bay Lightning in the sixth round of the 2015 NHL Draft. The Lightning had yet to sign Imama to a entry-level contract with the June 1 deadline looming.
Rather than signing Imama, the Lightning have traded the 20-year-old's rights to the Kings in exchange for a seventh-round pick in the 2018 NHL Draft.
According to the Kings, "the trade is conditioned on the Kings signing Imama to an NHL contract before Thursday's (June 1) 2 p.m. PT signing deadline."
Imama had a breakout overage season with the Sea Dogs, recording 41 goals and 14 assists in 66 regular season games. He added eight goals and seven assists in 18 playoff matches. At the Memorial Cup, Imama had a goal and two assists.
It was becoming clearer by the day that the Lighting were not going to sign Imama. He was recently not named to the Syracuse Crunch's Black Aces group, who are joining the team for the AHL's Calder Cup final.
Even if he doesn't ink an ELC, he could still be signed to a minor league deal and play professionally next season.Cirelli, Cernak, Raddysh and Joseph will be joining the Crunch's Black Aces. No news yet on Imama.— Jeremy Houghtaling (@JGHoughtaling) May 30, 2017
It's hard to imagine Imama not playing pro somewhere next year, mainly because he is certainly physically ready. Playing university hockey is not out of the question though, according to CUSN.
Meanwhile, the Philadelphia Flyers have yet to sign Samuel Dove-McFalls to an ELC. Dove-McFalls could return to the QMJHL as an overage player next season. He is expected to be traded to the Rimouski Oceanic in the coming days.