October 12 notebook: Roster taking shape - LA Kings Insider

The Reign’s roster is now rounding out as a result of the Kings finalizing their opening night 23-man squad.

Back in Ontario, as widely noted yesterday, are the Kings’ final cuts – forwards Michael Mersch, Adrian Kempe and defensemen Kevin Gravel, Kurtis MacDermid and Paul LaDue.

“Looking forward to having our group together for tomorrow’s practice,” Stothers said on Tuesday afternoon. “On paper it looks like we have good balance, and the elements need to compete in a talented division and conference. Everyone performed well in training camp regardless of when they joined us. The most recent of those joining us are so, so close to fulfilling a dream. Good for them. We better get what we can out of them because they may not be here long.”

Also, defenseman Rob Scuderi and forward Michael Latta have been assigned to Ontario after clearing waivers. Of note, Nic Dowd and Derek Forbort made the Kings’ opening roster.

Per AHL rules there’s really no limits to the number of players a team can roster but there is a veteran rule for game days.

Of the 18 skaters (not counting two goaltenders) that teams may dress for a game, at least 13 must be qualified as “development players.” Of those 13, 12 must have played in 260 or fewer professional games (including AHL, NHL and European elite leagues), and one must have played in 320 or fewer professional games. All calculations for development status are based on regular-season totals as of the start of the season.

The Reign have six such veterans (not including goalies) in Paul Bissonnette, Brett Sutter, T.J. Hensick, Sean Backman, Scuderi and Latta. Vincent LoVerde (240 pro games) and Zach Trotman (217) fly just under the limit.

Forward Justin Gutierrez was loaned to the Manchester Monarchs on Wednesday morning and goalie Thomas McCollum was released from his tryout agreement on Tuesday. With McCullom’s departure the Reign now have Peter Budaj and Jack Campbell as its two goalies to start the season. Injured players Zac Leslie (lower-body) and Spencer Watson (wrist) are not rostered.

The Reign open their season in San Diego on Saturday night at 7 p.m.

Here’s the latest roster as of today:


The Reign did not practice on Tuesday, something that Stothers said was decided upon prior to Monday’s lopsided 4-1 loss to the Gulls in the team’s final preseason contest. As a result, Joey Zakrewski and I postponed the new video “Reign Report” until next Tuesday. You’ll be able to check that out every Tuesday right here and on OntarioReign.com as well. We’re both looking forward to giving you extended coverage in Year 2 in Ontario.

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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.