The Reign received a big addition to their lineup earlier this week with AHL Rookie of the Month Sheldon Rempal rejoining the team after four games in the NHL with the Kings.
While Ontario Head Coach Mike Stothers was not able to see much of Rempal’s NHL action, with the heavy schedule of his own with the Reign, he noted the abilities and skillset that the Calgary native adds to the Reign.
“He certainly brings something to our lineup – speed, dynamic, playmaking ability,” Stothers said of Rempal. “He’s having a pretty good year for a rookie so we’ll welcome back what he brings offensively and certainly look forward to seeing him on the ice.”
Rempal currently leads all Ontario players with eight goals and 20 points and recently earned the monthly leaguewide award for his performance during November, as he tied for the AHL lead in points by a rookie. The 5-10 winger
With Los Angeles, Rempal was scoreless across four games, skating mostly on the team’s fourth line. While the points did not come for the rookie forward, Kings Player Development staffer Craig Johnson saw many of the things that he does in Ontario also come through in the NHL.
“He earns his time and space, he’s very deceptive,” Johnson said. “Even though at the NHL level it might not be as much, he’s still able to create. I think, for him, he has to continue to earn his opportunities and do the things that make him successful in the minors at the NHL level.”
I also chatted with Rempal upon his return to Ontario on his most recent experience with the Kings, what he’s looking to improve on in his latest stint with the Reign and his ability to bring offense at the AHL level.
Rempal on whether he felt more comfortable in his second NHL stint as opposed to his debut in October
Yeah, absolutely. Just talking to those guys and being in the room with them, you get more comfortable as the days go on. Obviously when you come right in, it’s tough to get to know them on a personal level but it was a lot of fun and I definitely felt a lot more comfortable.
On if it was challenging to play a more limited role, maybe only seeing 6-7 minutes per night
I mean, I think it’s always hard for a player to go into a game, knowing you’re only going to play five or six minutes, but you’ve got to do the best you can with it. I know it’s hard, but whatever chance you can take to impress the coaches so you can eventually play more, I think that’s huge. For the minutes that I played, I thought I played well, played a strong game and hope for the best going forward.
On if he was sent down with anything to work on in the AHL
No, not too much. Just every day, working on my end zone play, the defensive side of the puck, getting pucks out on the wall. Wall play is so big at the next level in the NHL, so just stuff like that you can continue to get better at, so when I go back up again, I’ll feel more comfortable.
On integrating back into the Reign lineup
It’s not always easy coming back and when you expect to put up numbers, it’s never an easy thing to do. When I come back down, I have to have a fresh mind and reset and have a positive attitude moving forward.