Los Angeles Kings phenom center Quinton Byfieldlooks refreshed and ready to go based on his performance at the 2022 NHL rookie tournament.
Last season, Byfield played in 40 games, totaling five goals and five assists for 10 points, with an average time on ice of 12:09. For his career, he has five goals and six assists for 11 points in 46 games, averaging 12:32 of ice time on the third line. Byfield played the end of last season with a chip on his shoulder, likely not happy with his overall performance.
Whatever he did in the off-season appears to have worked. During the 2022 NHL rookie tournament, he skated faster, was quicker and more aggressive on the puck, had better transition the other way, and seemed more alert when the play was going on. Byfield will be entering his third NHL season with hopes of making a bigger impact offensively.
The 6-foot-6 and 220 lb center from Newmarket, Ontario spent most of his NHL career on the third line to get him adjusted to the NHL style of play. With two seasons behind him, Byfield wants to make an impact on both ends of the ice. Although spending time on the third line for such a high draft pick does not seem fair, he did adjust and made the most of his opportunity.
Byfield was drafted second overall in the first round of the 2020 NHL Entry Draft and seemed to struggle a bit during his first stint in the league. That is likely as he needed time to adjust and let us not forget he is still very young and raw.
Byfield’s progression is on track as he seems to get better with every opportunity he gets. If the rookie tournament is any indication we can expect a big season for Byfield. If that is the case then we can also see a big season from Los Angeles, hopefully making it farther in the playoffs. What do you think of Byfield’s progression?
(photo: jewelsfromthecrown.com; Robyn Pennington) (photo: lakingsinsider.com; Zach Dooley)