As foretold by Darryl Sutter during last night’s post-game press conference, the Kings made their second round of cuts on Friday, assigning 10 players to Manchester in preparation for the Monarchs’ training camp in addition to returning Valentin Zykov and Alex Lintuniemi back to their junior teams. Jeff Deslauriers was also released from his professional tryout, yet another indication that Jonathan Quick’s recovery is progressing as planned.
Heading to Manchester are Justin Auger (LW), Kevin Gravel (D), Ryan Horvat (C), Maxim Kitsyn (LW), Zachary Leslie (D), Kurtis MacDermid (D) Michael Mersch (LW), Colin Miller (D), Alex Roach (D) and Scott Sabourin (RW).
Brian O’Neill was also placed on waivers today, so he’ll soon join the group in Manchester.
36 players remain with the Kings:
Goaltenders (4): Martin Jones, Jonathan Quick, J.F. Berube, Patrik Bartosak
Defensemen (13): Matt Greene, Jake Muzzin, Drew Doughty, Slava Voynov, Alec Martinez, Nick Ebert, Brayden McNabb, Robyn Regehr, Andrew Bodnarchuk, Vincent LoVerde, Jeff Schultz, Kevin Raine, Derek Forbort
Forwards (19): Mike Richards, Anze Kopitar, Marian Gaborik, Kyle Clifford, Justin Williams, Trevor Lewis, Dustin Brown, Jarret Stoll, Adam Cracknell, David Van der Gulik, Nick Shore, Jordan Weal, Andy Andreoff, Nic Dowd, Tanner Pearson, Jordan Nolan, Tyler Toffoli, Dwight King, Jeff Carter
More cuts are likely to take place between the games in Anaheim on Sunday and San Jose on Tuesday. Darryl Sutter has repeatedly said that he’d like to play mostly veterans during the final three preseason games, which will take the Kings to Colorado Springs and Las Vegas after San Jose.
There really aren’t any surprises here, but there are some things worth mentioning:
-As has been reported here and elsewhere, Jonathan Quick hasn’t experienced any setbacks, and the hope is that he’ll get into several late preseason games. That the Kings released Jeff Deslauriers from his tryout is yet another confirmation of the team’s encouragement in Quick’s progression.
-Does Nick Ebert have a leg up on other the other 20-year-olds for a roster spot in Manchester? He, Zachary Leslie and Kurtis MacDermid are all eligible to return to junior hockey for their overage seasons, but it’s Ebert – who had a fine performance in last night’s win – who will receive the longest look from the big club.
-Kings hockey operations continue to scratch their goatees on defenseman Kevin Raine. The 21-year-old had a smooth performance last night and will continue his long tryout. The extended look may have been partly facilitated by the injury to Andrew Bodnarchuk, but hey, when a player is injured, an opportunity arises for other players.
-While several of their Monarchs teammates departed, Nick Shore, Jordan Weal and Derek Forbort remain with the club. Again, this isn’t really a surprise. The team has been very impressed with Weal’s attention to detail and focus in practice, and the diminutive forward showed off his high skill level against Anaheim. Shore and Forbort made their full season debuts in the AHL last year after moving on from college. Nic Dowd, yet to play a full AHL season, also remains with the club.