Kings qualify nine, but not Bjorkstrand, Lowry - LA Kings Insider

The Kings sent qualifying offers to Justin Auger, Jonny Brodzinski, Andrew Crescenzi, Kevin Gravel, Paul LaDue, Zac Leslie, Kurtis MacDermid, Michael Mersch and Nick Shore, but not Patrick Bjorkstrand or Joel Lowry, hockey operations confirmed on Monday.

By qualifying a player, a team indicates its intention to maintain their rights and open up negotiations. Absent of a qualifying offer, players are eligible to become free agents on July 1. That applies to Bjorkstrand and Lowry.

Lowry, whose four-year career at Cornell ended midway through his senior season when he underwent back surgery, totaled six goals and 19 points in 81 games over two seasons with Ontario in a checking, character role. The forward, whose father was recently hired by the Kings as an assistant coach, turns 26 in November.

The Kings took a flier on Bjorkstrand, who signed a one-year entry-level contract with the club last off-season after spending three seasons with KHL-Zagreb. In 42 games, the forward totaled eight goals and 12 points with Ontario. His brother, Oliver, is a skilled Columbus prospect.

These decisions impact the construction of the 2017-18 Reign. Keep in mind that Jack Campbell, Auger, Mersch, MacDermid and Crescenzi are among those who would have to clear waivers were the Kings to attempt to assign them to Ontario. Those also vying for spots will be Oscar Fantenberg (who will also have an opportunity to earn a role as a seventh defenseman with Los Angeles), Matt Iafallo, Matt Roy, Austin Wagner, Chaz Reddekopp, Alex Lintuniemi, Keegan Iverson (who is on an AHL contract), Michael Amadio (who figures to have a significant role with the team), Boko Imama, Spencer Watson and Matt Luff, plus any players signed to AHL contracts or assigned by Los Angeles. (As players who will be 20 years old, Wagner, Reddekopp and Luff are eligible to play in either the AHL or be returned to major junior.)