Pearson, Vey, Toffoli to Manchester; roster nearly set - LA Kings Insider

As had been speculated earlier today, Tanner Pearson, Linden Vey and Tyler Toffoli have been loaned to the Mancheseter Monarchs.

Along with Jeff Schultz being placed on waivers, the Kings are now down to the 21 skaters they’ll open the season with. The final decision in advance of the Monday afternoon deadline to set the 23-man roster is whether they’ll keep Ben Scrivens (who is under contract) or sign Mathieu Garon (who attended camp on a tryout).

We’ll gain a better sense of where players will align at practice this week, but barring any unforeseen variables, I’m leaning towards an opening day lineup that appears as such:

Dustin Brown – Anze Kopitar – Justin Williams
Matt Frattin – Mike Richards – Jeff Carter
Dwight King – Jarret Stoll – Trevor Lewis
Kyle Clifford – Colin Fraser – Jordan Nolan

Robyn Regehr – Drew Doughty
Willie Mitchell – Slava Voynov
Alec Martinez – Matt Greene

Jonathan Quick
Ben Scrivens

Scratches: Daniel Carcillo, Keaton Ellerby, Jake Muzzin

Though Darryl Sutter often spoke about the quality performances by the young forwards in training camp – a group that also includes center Nick Shore – it was going to be an uphill battle to unseat any of the established players.

Tanner Pearson appeared to have the best camp of the players reassigned today, though with Dwight King contributing with a productive preseason, and Daniel Carcillo and Kyle Clifford providing viable and versatile options, there are more available minutes for him to continue to develop in the American Hockey League, even with the Kings searching for consistent production along the left side. The Kings appear to have made very good use out of the 30th pick in the 2012 NHL Draft.

Linden Vey recorded one assist in four games and acquitted himself well in camp, though it remains to be seen where there will be a more apparent place for him to earn a roster spot. An impressive puck distributor who sees the ice well, the skilled Vey could project as a top-six forward with with continued development. At the moment, there are no holes for Vey in a top-six role as Anze Kopitar is signed through 2016 and Mike Richards is signed through 2020. Third line center Jarret Stoll will have his contract expire following the 2014-15 season.

Darryl Sutter hinted late in the 2012-13 season that plans could eventually develop to try right wing Tyler Toffoli out on the left side, though the plans never materialized in camp, and the LA Times reported earlier this month that Toffoli will remain a right wing.

“I don’t want to set Tyler back. That’s my thinking,” Sutter told Helene Elliott at the beginning of training camp.

In circumstances similar to Vey’s, there simply aren’t any immediate openings for Toffoli on the right wing. Justin Williams is signed through 2015, and Jeff Carter through 2022, though Trevor Lewis’ current contract expires in July. While Sutter never sounded down on Toffoli, the rookie winger didn’t exactly force the Kings’ hand with a four-game exhibition campaign in which he was held without a point.

The loans to Manchester provide the Kings excellent options and flexibility should there be any injuries, trades – or a lack of production – impacting any of the three forward positions. It is a similar situation to the one that opened the 2011-12 season, when Slava Voynov began the year in Manchester despite appearing capable of holding down a regular spot on the team’s blue line. After one call-up and a subsequent reassignment, Voynov joined the team permanently when Jack Johnson was sent to Columbus in the trade that brought Carter to the Kings.

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Adrian Kempe

#9 | 6′ 2″ | 195 lb | Age: 21

Born: September 13, 1996
Birthplace: Kramfors, SWE
Position: LW
Handedness: Left


Kempe was selected by the Kings in the first round (29th overall) in the 2014 NHL Draft.

Alex Iafallo

#19 | 6′ | 185 lb | Age: 23

Born: December 21, 1993
Birthplace: Eden, NY, USA
Position: C
Handedness: Left


Iafallo was signed by the Kings as an unrestricted free agent on April 18, 2017.

Anze Kopitar

#11 | 6′ 3″ | 224 lb | Age: 29

Born: August 24, 1987
Birthplace: Jesenice, SVN
Position: C
Handedness: Left


As the 11th overall pick in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft, Kopitar became the first Slovenian to play in the NHL. Kopitar has spent his entire NHL career with the Kings, and following the 2015–16 season, was named the Kings’ captain. Noted for both his offensive and defensive play, Kopitar was awarded the Frank J. Selke Trophy as the best defensive forward in the NHL in 2016.

Drew Doughty

#8 | 6′ 1″ | 195 lb | Age: 26

Born: December 8, 1989
Birthplace: London, ON, CAN
Position: D
Handedness: Right


Bio: Doughty is a Canadian defenceman who was selected second overall by the Kings in the 2008 Draft. Doughty made his NHL debut in 2008 as an 18-year-old and was named to the All-Rookie Team. He is a two-time Stanley Cup champion with the Kings, a two-time Olympic gold medallist with the Canadian national team, and a Norris Trophy finalist.

Jeff Carter

#77 | 6′ 4″ | 215 lb | Age: 31

Born: January 1, 1985
Birthplace: London, ON, CAN
Position: C
Handedness: Right


Carter began his hockey career playing in the Ontario Hockey League in Canada before joining the AHL and playing for the Philadelphia Flyers. He was then traded to the Colombus Blue jackets before joining the LA Kings in 2012, where he has since won two Stanley Cups with the Kings.

Jonathan Quick

#32 | 6′ 1″ | 218 lb | Age: 30

Born: January 21, 1986
Birthplace: Milford, CT, USA
Position: G
Handedness: Left


Bio: Quick is the current goaltender for the LA Kings and was selected by Los Angeles at the 2005 NHL Entry Draft. Previously, Quick was a silver medalist with USA at the 2010 Winter Olympics. He’s won two Stanley Cup championships with the Kings, along with being the most recent goaltender to be awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy as the Most Valuable Player (MVP) of the 2012 Stanley Cup playoffs.