Trio assigned to Ontario; roster at 29 - LA Kings Insider

The LA Kings trimmed their roster by three players on Tuesday, assigning forward Martin Frk, defenseman Mikey Anderson and goaltender Cal Petersen to AHL-Ontario. None of the moves represented a surprise or any deviation from where the players had been penciled to start the season, though their transactions do add definition to the roster shaping up ahead of the October 1 23-man deadline.

The remaining roster:

Forwards (17): Michael Amadio, Jaret Anderson-Dolan, Dustin Brown, Jeff Carter, Kyle Clifford, Carl Grundstrom, Alex Iafallo, Adrian Kempe, Mario Kempe, Ilya Kovalchuk, Anze Kopitar, Rasmus Kupari, Trevor Lewis, Blake Lizotte, Nikolai Prokhorkin, Tyler Toffoli, Austin Wagner
Defensemen (10): Tobias Bjornfot, Drew Doughty, Derek Forbort, Ben Hutton, Paul LaDue, Kurtis MacDermid, Alec Martinez, Matt Roy, Joakim Ryan, Sean Walker
Goalies (2): Jack Campbell, Jonathan Quick
Italics denote waiver-exempt status

There’s not much learned today that hadn’t been learned yesterday. The bubble spots are essentially being contested by Mario Kempe, Anderson-Dolan, Amadio, Grundstrom, Kupari, Lizotte and Prokhorkin up front, and among them three or four spots will be claimed. On the back end, one or two players will be trimmed from a group of Bjornfot, LaDue, MacDermid, Roy, Ryan and Walker. Keep in mind that waiver eligibility plays a major role in the construction of the October 1 roster, which won’t necessarily look exactly like the December 1 roster. There’s nothing hidden in that statement beyond the annual reminder that asset retention enters into the forefront of preseason roster construction and that they retain the option to “slide” the first year of Bjornfot’s contract should they – hypothetically – decide to return him to Sweden before he plays in his 10th game (which triggers the first year of his entry-level contract).

Forbort (back) is not projected to return in the near future and is not expected to occupy a roster spot at the beginning of the season, while LaDue entered into his first preseason game Monday against Anaheim, registering four blocked shots in 18:44 – though he and MacDermid, his defensive partner, combined for six giveaways, per the official tally. He had missed the first week of preseason action with a knee injury that put him in skates but apart from the main groups when training camp opened. “Even if you’re not hurt, you want to get as many games as you can just to shake the rust off from the summer,” LaDue said Tuesday. “Especially since I couldn’t really skate that much this summer, as many games or game-like opportunities – even in practice – as I can get would be better.”

Up front, Lizotte has made a very strong claim for a roster spot not liberally distributed to waiver-exempt 21-year-olds, let alone those who stand 5-foot-7 and weigh 172 pounds. But it is the Land Of Opportunity for those in the organization qualified to play center at the National Hockey League level, and Carter and Kovalchuk wrung good juice out of Lizotte as well as any linemates this preseason. There’s good pace and playmaking ability in Lizotte’s game – which to this point has simply passed a few exhibition tests – and a motor that has drawn praise from his teammates. “He’s fun to play with. He’s got a motor, and he goes,” Carter said. “He never quits on pucks, he always seems like he’s in the right spots and he’s turning pucks over. And he’s got great skill – he can make plays, so he’s fun to play with.” In three preseason games, he scored on his lone shot as part of a four-point, plus-three performance.

Frk, signed to a one-year $700,000 on July 1, had cleared waivers earlier in the day. He showed well, accounting for a goal, two points and a plus-three rating in two games and will be among those in Ontario to battle for a call-up based on need. Anderson, who also drew preseason praise and recorded a goal and an assist in two games, will open his professional career with the Reign, while Petersen, who stopped all 23 shots through two periods in Monday’s 3-0 win, will return to the AHL as the heir to any minutes vacated by Jonathan Quick or Jack Campbell as the third link in a deep goaltending chain. He stopped 36 of 38 shots over 67:41 of preseason action.

Adam Pantozzi/NHLI

Adrian Kempe

#9 | 6′ 2″ | 195 lb | Age: 21

Born: September 13, 1996
Birthplace: Kramfors, SWE
Position: LW
Handedness: Left


Kempe was selected by the Kings in the first round (29th overall) in the 2014 NHL Draft.

Alex Iafallo

#19 | 6′ | 185 lb | Age: 23

Born: December 21, 1993
Birthplace: Eden, NY, USA
Position: C
Handedness: Left


Iafallo was signed by the Kings as an unrestricted free agent on April 18, 2017.

Anze Kopitar

#11 | 6′ 3″ | 224 lb | Age: 29

Born: August 24, 1987
Birthplace: Jesenice, SVN
Position: C
Handedness: Left


As the 11th overall pick in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft, Kopitar became the first Slovenian to play in the NHL. Kopitar has spent his entire NHL career with the Kings, and following the 2015–16 season, was named the Kings’ captain. Noted for both his offensive and defensive play, Kopitar was awarded the Frank J. Selke Trophy as the best defensive forward in the NHL in 2016.

Drew Doughty

#8 | 6′ 1″ | 195 lb | Age: 26

Born: December 8, 1989
Birthplace: London, ON, CAN
Position: D
Handedness: Right


Bio: Doughty is a Canadian defenceman who was selected second overall by the Kings in the 2008 Draft. Doughty made his NHL debut in 2008 as an 18-year-old and was named to the All-Rookie Team. He is a two-time Stanley Cup champion with the Kings, a two-time Olympic gold medallist with the Canadian national team, and a Norris Trophy finalist.

Jeff Carter

#77 | 6′ 4″ | 215 lb | Age: 31

Born: January 1, 1985
Birthplace: London, ON, CAN
Position: C
Handedness: Right


Carter began his hockey career playing in the Ontario Hockey League in Canada before joining the AHL and playing for the Philadelphia Flyers. He was then traded to the Colombus Blue jackets before joining the LA Kings in 2012, where he has since won two Stanley Cups with the Kings.

Jonathan Quick

#32 | 6′ 1″ | 218 lb | Age: 30

Born: January 21, 1986
Birthplace: Milford, CT, USA
Position: G
Handedness: Left


Bio: Quick is the current goaltender for the LA Kings and was selected by Los Angeles at the 2005 NHL Entry Draft. Previously, Quick was a silver medalist with USA at the 2010 Winter Olympics. He’s won two Stanley Cup championships with the Kings, along with being the most recent goaltender to be awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy as the Most Valuable Player (MVP) of the 2012 Stanley Cup playoffs.