2009-10: Tanner Pearson was the second-leading scorer for the Waterloo Siskins in his second season in the GOJHL. In 51 games he scored 29 goals with 41 assists and had 78 penalty minutes. Waterloo finished second in the Midwestern Conference and advanced to the conference semifinals. In 11 playoff games Pearson scored 5 goals with 11 assists and had 20 penalty minutes.
2010-11: Originally selected by Barrie in the 14th round (266th overall) of the 2008 OHL Priority Draft, Pearson skated in 66 of 68 games for the Colts in his first OHL season. Pearson scored 15 goals with 27 assists and was minus-12 with 35 penalty minutes. Barrie missed the OHL playoffs; winning 15 games and finishing with the OHL’s worst record. Pearson was not among the 210 North American skaters in Central Scouting’s final rankings and was not selected in the 2011 NHL draft in his second year of eligibility.
2011-12: Pearson had a dominant season in the OHL as a 19-year-old and skated for Canada at the 2012 U20 World Junior Championship before suffering a season-ending leg injury in March. He finished as the OHL’s third-leading scorer with 37 goals and 54 assists and was plus-21 with 37 penalty minutes. Barrie was one of the top teams in the OHL – finishing second behind Niagara in the Central Division with the league’s sixth-best record. Pearson was injured in the Colts’ final game of the season against Brampton; suffering a broken fibula. In six games for third-place Canada at the WJC he had 1 goal with 5 assists and was plus-one with 6 penalty minutes. He was invited to the NHL Draft Combine and was ranked 25th amongst North American skaters in Central Scouting’s final rankings prior to the 2012 NHL Draft.
2012-13: Pearson made his NHL debut in Game 3 of the Kings’ Western Conference semifinal series with San Jose, seeing 5:44 minutes of ice time in his only playoff appearance. He was the fourth-leading scorer for Los Angeles’s AHL affiliate, the Manchester Monarchs, after signing a three-year entry-level contract with the Kings in August of 2012. Skating on a line with fellow AHL rookie Tyler Toffoli and second-year pro Linden Vey, he scored 19 goals with 28 assists in 64 games and was +17 with 14 penalty minutes. The Monarchs finished third in the Atlantic Division and lost to Springfield in a first round playoff series. Pearson had 1 assist and was -2 with 4 penalty minutes in four playoff games.
Pearson persevered after being passed over in two previous drafts to become a first round pick of the Kings. He improved his offensive game in 2011-12 through a combination of improved skating and added muscle. Pearson also evolved his game into a two-way game that should help him to eventually earn a place in the Kings lineup. He continued to improve on his all-around game and was one of several outstanding rookies on the Manchester Monarchs in his first year at the pro level.
Pearson certainly has made a quick impression on the Los Angeles scouting staff and management. He had a fantastic first season in the AHL, was among one of the teams top forwards, and even made his first NHL appearance in the 2013 playoffs. While still needing to muscle up a bit, Pearson has already come a long way. He will see more responsibility and a larger role with the Monarchs this year and do not be surprised if he makes more appearances with the Kings in the near future.