Scherbak assigned to Ontario after clearing waivers - LA Kings Insider

The LA Kings assigned 23-year-old forward Nikita Scherbak to Ontario after he cleared waivers, the Kings confirmed Monday. Scherbak, who has one goal in eight games with Los Angeles, had been placed on waivers Sunday morning. “With Scherbak being a young guy, especially when you see how bad he wants it, it’s hard,” Willie Desjardins said Sunday. “But the only way he’ll get to where he wants to go is by getting down and playing games. Like he can’t get there up here because he doesn’t get what he needs. It may be hard, but it’s the best thing for him.”

Though he was a minus-four in eight games, Scherbak actually boasted some solid possession rates in a small sample size in which he was given fairly cushy zone starts. But he was also caught in a familiar Catch-22 in which a young player wasn’t quite performing well enough to earn additional ice time and thus wasn’t used enough to be able to construct a real niche with the team. He’ll continue to build his game working with Mike Stothers, David Bell, Jaroslav Modry and the Kings development staff and will be a restricted free agent after the season should the Kings choose to qualify him. In 145 games with AHL-St. John’s and AHL-Laval since 2015-16, Scherbak has 28 goals, 95 points and a minus-30 rating. The load-bearing portion of that weighty plus-minus came during the 2015-16 season, which he opened as a 19-year-old before turning 20 on December 30. Prior to this year’s five-game, one-goal stint in Laval, he totaled seven goals and 30 points in 26 games with the Rocket in 2017-18.

Some LTIR news, via CapFriendly:


Not at all related to Scherbak: via the wonderful Gregg Drinnan, Roman Vopat, acquired from St. Louis in the Wayne Gretzky trade and a veteran of 57 LA Kings games, was dismissed by WHL-Kootenay for tweets critical of Canadian World Juniors coach Tim Hunter. (Kootenay’s head coach is also a former King, Jon Klemm, a two-time Stanley Cup winner with Colorado.)

Vopat had served as an assistant coach in the WHL since the 2014-15 season.

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Lead photo via David Becker/NHLI

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.