Kings trim roster by 15 in advance of Ontario's camp - LA Kings Insider

The Kings trimmed their roster by 15 players on Monday, assigning forwards Michael Amadio, Justin Auger, Patrick Bjorkstrand and Joel Lowry, and defensemen Erik Cernak, Alex Lintuniemi and Damir Sharipzianov to the Ontario Reign, and assigning players under AHL contracts, including forwards Sean Backman, Paul Bissonnette, Justin Gutierrez, T.J. Hensick, Sam Herr and Brett Sutter, goaltender Jack Flinn, and tryout Lucas Lessio to the Reign’s training camp. Ontario’s training camp begins Tuesday morning, while Los Angeles concludes its preseason schedule with games against Dallas and Colorado in Las Vegas next weekend.

The roster moves leave 40 players on the active roster, though goaltenders Peter Budaj and Jack Campbell, forward Andrew Crescenzi and defenseman Vincent LoVerde will be added to Ontario’s roster tomorrow should they clear waivers.

There’s no great deal of surprise here, though Lessio, from what I’ve inferred – I actually haven’t seen him in person because of the split-squads – had a strong showing and would have an opportunity to earn an AHL contract.

The bigger news is who isn’t among the cuts: Devin Setoguchi. In speaking with hockey operations this week, I got the sense that there is a real shot for Setoguchi to earn a place on the roster as the team could benefit from his particular skill set in the absence of Marian Gaborik. It was explained that Setoguchi couldn’t have any “let-up” from the standout camp and preseason that he’s had thus far; in addition to his first period hammer from the top of the right circle in the win over Anaheim last Wednesday, he also forced an impressive turnover before issuing a slick pass to Adrian Kempe, nearly earning an assist when Kempe hit the inside of the post. It would make for an impressive story, given the personal challenges Setoguchi has emerged from over the past two years, and that he was more of a longshot to make the roster at the start of camp.

Kempe, who would be considered a slightly longer shot to make the roster, but could serve as a mid-season call-up, survived this round of roster trimming as well.

I’m tied up with a family engagement at the moment but will share some additional details on a Kings Men Podcast that we’re taping tonight. Rich Hammond is scheduled to share a Rams Report! We hope you’ll be able to tune in.

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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.