The Los Angeles Kings officially recalled Derek Forbort Tuesday morning in a roster move that had been widely expected. LA Kings Insider had reported on Monday night that the Kings had attempted to recall Forbort prior to the game in Columbus – partly as an insurance policy, and partly due to Robyn Regehr’s bout with illness – but were unable to do so when wintry conditions in the Northeast prevented the defensemen from traveling from Manchester, N.H.
Forbort, selected 15th overall in 2010 when Los Angeles hosted the draft, becomes the final player from the first round of his draft class to earn a call-up to the NHL. The 6-foot-4, 219-pound Duluth, Minn. native has 11 points (2-9=11) and a plus-15 rating in 46 games with Manchester, and has now appeared in 126 career AHL games, totaling 29 points (3-26=29), a plus-39 rating and 79 penalty minutes. He will become the first player in Kings history to wear number 84.
Having spoken with hockey operations about the recall on Monday, it is clear that the team has been happy with Forbort’s progression since the left-shooting defenseman turned pro in the spring of 2013. Though Jeff Schultz is dealing with a groin injury that is expected to sideline him for a week in Manchester, I’ve been told that Forbort still would have been a choice candidate for the recall, as the team feels that he has put in the required work in which a call-up represents the natural progression of his professional career.
The team had a roster spot open, so no corresponding move needed to be made. Los Angeles now has seven healthy defensemen (Greene, McNabb, McBain, Muzzin, Doughty, Regehr, Forbort), one defenseman deemed day-to-day by Darryl Sutter with “concussion-like symptoms which don’t appear to be very severe,” and 13 healthy forwards.
Vice President of Hockey Operations and Director of Player Personnel Michael Futa on Derek Forbort, December 10, 2014:
He’s been able to get more comfortable, be a better leader, absorb big minutes, physically mature, physically develop, and I think now down there we’re starting to see – it might not be as high end as we initially thought, but it doesn’t matter – he’s looking like a guy who’s going to play. If you can get a guy who can play big minutes and defend well and skate as well as Forbs does, it’s really good.
For scouting reports and more on Forbort’s development, click here.