Source: Reign re-sign Backman, Sutter, add Koules - LA Kings Insider

The Reign solidified their veteran presence on Friday, re-signing forwards Brett Sutter and Sean Backman, according to a hockey operations source with the team.

Forward Miles Koules was also signed to an AHL two-way contract, the source said. Koules, a Los Angeles native, played in the ECHL last season.

The 30-year-old Backman will enter his fourth season with the Kings organization’s AHL affiliate. A member of the 2015 Calder Cup championship team in Manchester, Backman went on the lead the Reign in points (21-24=55) in their inaugural season on the West Coast in 2015-16.

Backman, a Connecticut native, played mostly on either the first or second line on the right wing last season and had 1 goal and 3 assists in 13 playoff games.

Sutter comes back for what should be his first full season with the Reign after joining the team at the trade deadline last season. Sutter, a 29-year-old center, had a positive impact on the team following his arrival and was easily inserted into penalty kill situations. He was then limited to just five playoff games due to what he later revealed as a fractured pelvis.

Both Backman and Sutter have close familial ties to the organization as Sutter is the son of Kings head coach Darryl Sutter and Backman is the brother-in-law of goalie Jonathan Quick. Both players also expressed in their final media availability of the season that they wanted to be back in Ontario.

“It was the first time in my career that [I] was able to spend an off day with family or just drive down and have a dinner with the family,” said Sutter, who had 5 goals and 3 assist in 22 total games with Ontario (regular and postseason combined).

Koules, 22, split time with Quad City and Wichita of the ECHL last season, totaling 7 goals and 19 assists in 59 games. He has no previous AHL experience.

Koules is the son of TV/movie producer Oren Koules, who played hockey in the junior ranks and was once a part-owner of the Tampa Bay Lightning.

More below on Koules via

Rules for Blog Commenting
  • - No profanity, slurs or other offensive language. Replacing letters with symbols does not turn expletives into non-expletives.
  • - Personal attacks against other blog commenters, and/or blatant attempts to antagonize other commenters, are not tolerated. Respectful disagreement is encouraged. Posts that continually express the same singular opinion will be deleted.
  • - Comments that incite political, religious or similar debates will be deleted.
  • - Please do not discuss, or post links to, websites that illegally stream NHL games.
  • - Posting under multiple user names is not allowed. Do not type in all caps. All violations are subject to comment deletion and/or banning of commenters, per the discretion of the blog administrator.
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.