Defenseman Cole Krygier signs ATO with Ontario Reign

Cole Krygier Part 2, Insiders!

Yesterday afternoon, the Kings acquired the rights to defenseman Cole Krygier from the Florida Panthers, in exchange for future considerations. Krygier was a seventh-round draft pick by the Panthers in the 2018 NHL Draft and recently completed his NCAA career at Michigan State University. As Krygier has gone four years – five actually – since he was drafted, he is eliglble to become an unrestricted free agent on August 15. Whether he was traded or not, that deadline would have remained in place, so the Kings and Krygier would have until that time to agree on an entry-level contract for the 2023-24 season, which would be two years in length should they come to terms.

For today, Krygier will join the AHL’s Ontario Reign on an ATO (amateur try out), which is common for players in his situation. AHL clubs typically add college free agents on try outs at the ends of their NCAA seasons, some whose rights are owned by their NHL club and others who are free agents. Ontario is in action tonight and tomorrow in Tucson, before returning home to host Abbotsford on Friday and Sunday. Krygier will wear #45 with the Reign.

Instant Analysis
There are two sides to his move – the trade and the signing.

Starting with the trade itself, giving up future considerations is in the name – it could be anything in the future. These sorts of deals typically have conditions involved and could amount to something or could amount to nothing, going the other way. The deal is a low-risk move for the Kings, potentially bringing a player into the system for a small or no-risk cost. Looking at the makeup of the Kings prospect pool, the organization is flush with right-shot defensemen, but in the left-shot category, just Tobias Bjornfot and Kim Nousianien are signed to entry-level contracts on the left side, with Bjornfot a pending RFA. Though there are others in the system, Krygier represents an opportunity to potentially add to that depth, should he eventually sign with the Kings. The Kings have fonud success in the college market before – Alex Iafallo, Blake Lizotte, Cal Petersen, Sean Walker – and are hopeful to possibly do so again.

On the ATO signing side of things, Krygier joins an Ontario Reign team that is currently struggling, on a nine-game losing streak that has netted just two points in the standings. The Reign are currently without their de-facto number-one defenseman in Jordan Spence, who is currently up with the Kings, so Krygier will add some depth on the blue line. Krygier is a young player, who has never played a professional game in his career, so expectations should match that fact. It is, however, an opportunity to see how he adjusts to the AHL level and go from there, familiarizing him with the way the Kings and Reign operate at the same time.

From the team’s official release –

Krygier, 22, recently completed his fifth season with Michigan State University where he registered 16 points (10-6=16) in 38 games while serving as alternate captain. His 10 goals led Michigan State defensemen and ranked tied for fourth among NCAA blueliners. In 160 career NCAA games, Krygier accumulated 41 points (20-21=41) with 193 penalty minutes (PIM).

Originally drafted by the Florida Panthers in the seventh round (201st overall) in the 2018 NHL Draft, Krygier played in parts of two seasons with the Lincoln Stars of the USHL prior to his collegiate career, tallying 23 points (6-17=23) in 95 games.

Cole’s brother, Christian, signed an AHL ATO of his own today, joining the Bridgeport Islanders, primary affiliate of the New York Islanders. Their father, former NHL forward Todd, is an assistant coach with the AHL’s Grand Rapids Griffins, primary affiliate of the Detroit Red Wings. Ontario is in action in about 90 minutes in Tucson, as they look to snap their losing skid. Krygier will join the Reign in Arizona, though may not play tonight. Full coverage of the game on AHLTV and via Twitter, through our Reign contributor Jared Shafran.

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