Mersch assigned to AHL; Reign cut down roster - LA Kings Insider

Catching up on the last of the news from Monday:

Michael Mersch has been assigned to AHL-Ontario. This isn’t a surprise; though he continued the trajectory that saw him emerge as a second-half force for AHL-Manchester a season ago and potted a pair of preseason goals for Los Angeles, the plan, as was learned over the summer, was to get him another half-year or so of seasoning at the AHL level and recall him to the big club when needed. The Kings, in several recent years, have benefited well from mid-season prospect call-ups who stepped right into the lineup (see: King and Nolan in 2012, and Pearson and Toffoli in 2014), and Mersch will be primed to join the Kings at some point this season, barring unforeseen events.

Appearing in all six preseason games, Mersch’s 20 shots on goal tied for third in the league.

Ontario will open the season on Saturday in Bakersfield. As of now, the Reign’s two goaltenders are Peter Budaj and Michael Houser, because there is no word yet on whether J-F Berube has cleared waivers (more on that soon), and Patrik Bartosak is out indefinitely after undergoing surgery on his thumb. The team is also waiting to see whether Brian O’Neill (who would have to clear waivers) will be made available to the club; as of yesterday, the Kings were still deciding on O’Neill’s plans to start the season. In the final preseason tuneup last night, the Reign fell 5-3 to the San Diego Gulls at the Honda Center. Nic Dowd, Kevin Gravel and Jonny Brodzinski scored for Ontario, while Houser stopped 25 of 29 shots.

The Reign also assigned forward prospect Maxim Kitsyn and defensive prospect Alex Roach to ECHL-Manchester, while forwards Matt White, Derek Arnold and Riley Armstrong, and defenseman Garrett Haar were released from their tryouts.

Your first opportunity to see Mersch and the Reign at home will take place over October 23-24, when Bakersfield and San Jose visit the Inland Empire.

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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.

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


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