Kempe to return tonight; Kitsyn sent down - LA Kings Insider

Reign forward Adrian Kempe will return to the lineup in tonight’s 6 p.m. home game against San Diego, head coach Mike Stothers confirmed via text on Saturday afternoon.

Kempe had missed the last four games due to an upper body injury suffered in a collision with teammate Derek Forbort on Feb. 19 against the Texas Stars. He suited up the following day against San Diego, but did not play. The team is looking for more from the first-rounder, who has been held without a goal in his last 17 games. The last time the rookie scored was on Jan. 8 against Stockton, his first game back from competing in the World Junior Championships in Finland for his native Sweden.

His return comes with Ontario (34-14-3-1, .692 winning percentage) looking to officially lock in a spot in the Calder Cup playoffs. With 16 games remaining, their magic number to gain a berth is 16 points.

Stothers said forward Paul Bissonnette, still nursing a “mid-range” ailment, will continue to be sidelined.

As a result of Kempe’s addition, the Reign sent forward Maxim Kitsyn back to the Manchester Monarchs.

Kitsyn appeared in two games against Texas during his recall and was held without a point. He had been a healthy scratch the previous two games against San Antonio.

Kitsyn, 24, was called up to the Reign on Feb. 24, along with Matt Leitner, who remains with Ontario.

Goalie Michael Houser is still in Manchester on a conditioning assignment.

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Kevin Gravel

#4 | 6′ 4″ | 200 lb | Age: 24

Born: DOB: 2/17/1996
Birthplace: KINGSFORD, MI
Position: D


Gravel made his NHL debut with Los Angeles in the 2015-16 season, skating with the Kings for four games before returning to AHL affiliate Ontario.

Rob Scuderi

#0 | 6′ 1″ | 212 lb | Age: 37

Born: DOB: 12/30/1978
Birthplace: SYOSSET, NY
Position: D
Handedness: Left


Scuderi is currently playing for the Reign while under contract with the LA Kings. He has won two Stanley Cups, once with the Pittsburgh Penguins and with the Kings.

Michael Mersch

#27 | 6′ 1″ | 225 lb | Age: 24

Born: DOB: 10/2/1992
Birthplace: PARK RIDGE, IL
Position: LW
Handedness: Left


Drafted by the Kings in 2011, Mersch is currently playing forward for the Reign. Last season, he drew into his first NHL game for the Kings, where he registered 2 shots and 3 hits.

Michael Latta

#24 | 6′ 0″ | 207 lb | Age: 25

Born: 5/25/1991
Birthplace: KITCHENER, ON
Position: F
Handedness: Right


Prior to turning professional, Latta played major junior hockey in the OHL with the Ottawa 67’s and Guelph Storm. He was drafted into the NHL in 2009 and joined the King’s affiliate Reign in 2016.

Adrian Kempe

#09 | 6′ 1″ | 187 lb | Age: 20

Born: 9/13/1996
Position: LW
Handedness: Left


Growing up in Swedan, Kempe made his hockey debut in 2014 in the Swedish Hockey League. He has since been drafted by the Kings, where he is playing for their AHL affiliate team, the Ontario Reign.

Brett Sutter

#07 | 6′ 0″ | 192 lb | Age: 29

Born: 6/2/1987
Birthplace: CALGARY, AB
Position: C


Drafted in 2005 by the Calgary Flames, Sutter was traded to the Reign in 2016. He is the son of LA Kings head couch Darryl Sutter, and the eighth member of the Sutter family to play in the NHL.