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Kings’ Nolan has something to prove at camp after season-ending back surgery

Los Angeles Kings v Washington Capitals

WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 16: Jordan Nolan #71 of the Los Angeles Kings moves the puck in front of Nate Schmidt #88 of the Washington Capitals in the third period of the Capitals 3-1 win at Verizon Center on February 16, 2016 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

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After failing to score a goal in 52 games last season, Jordan Nolan’s already difficult campaign came to a premature conclusion.

He underwent surgery in March to repair a herniated disc in his back, putting him out indefinitely. However, after an offseason of rehabbing and working out, the hard-hitting L.A. Kings forward has been cleared to participate in training camp when it opens later this month, according to LA Kings Insider.

Nolan, 27 years old and with an annual cap hit of $950,000, isn’t known for his offensive contributions. He scored a career-high six goals and 10 points in 2013-14. But the Kings have 15 forwards under contract for the upcoming season, which points to more competition for spots in the lineup once camp opens.

Where Nolan, who was used on the penalty kill an average of 1:17 a game, can make his impact on the Kings roster is as a bottom-six winger that can play a physical style in the physical Pacific Division.

“I’m looking forward to starting the year,” Nolan told LA Kings Insider.

“Obviously it’s disappointing having to end your season in March and have back surgery, but I feel great. We have a few new players coming in this year, so I’m looking forward to getting back on the ice and proving what I can do and getting back to that level where I was last year.”