Quinton Byfield just began his pro career, and he is not looking out of place.
Does the decision of sending him to the Ontario Reign of the AHL, however, hurt or help his development?
Byfield was selected in the first round of the 2020 NHL draft 92nd overall) by the Los Angeles Kings after years of dominating the OHL. A monster on skates Byfield looked like he was toying with the opposition because of the size difference.
At 6’4″ and 215 pounds, he has the game that drives the opposition crazy. A game similar to Keith Tkachuk and Cam Neely, he is gritty, physical, can produce offensively. He began his pro career with the Reign since he had nothing left to accomplish in junior.
Although Byfield has a plus/minus of -5, Byfield currently has 1 goal and 2 assists for 3 points in 5 games. Whether he can keep up this production pace or not is up to him.
He has the raw tools to do so. Will the faster pace eventually catch up to him?
The decision to send him to Ontario was probably the best decision for his development. Yes, he was a 2nd overall pick, and there is pressure. However, some players need to develop a different way.
Byfield needs to get used to the faster pace, quicker decision-making, ability to play with guys 10 years older. Keeping Byfield in the AHL for a bit and seeing how he develops is best for him and the organization.
He has the tools to be successful; now, it is up to him for his play to speak for itself.
The young phenom has picked up where he left off, and production, so far, has not suffered.
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