The Los Angeles Kings made four transactions yesterday and three of them involved recalling three players from AHL affiliate, the Ontario Reign. The Reign recalled center Quinton Byfield, forward Rasmus Kupari, and defenseman Jordan Spence. Forward Arthur Kaliyev was placed on injured reserve. None of the players recalled are strangers to the Kings.
Center Quinton Byfield struggled earlier this year and was sent to Ontario to refine his game. He struggled out of the gate, producing three assists in eight games before being sent down. Byfield seems to have regained his confidence as he has produced in Ontario like we thought he might in Los Angeles. In Ontario, he had nine goals and six assists for 15 points in 16 games. In 59 career AHL games, he has 21 goals and 20 assists for 41 points. In 54 NHL games, he has five goals and nine assists for 14 points. Byfield will likely spend time on the fourth line as he did in last night’s 4-2 win over the Vegas Golden Knights. Byfield had one hit and two blocks in just under nine minutes of action.
Forward Rasmus Kupari played in Los Angeles earlier as well, posting two goals and three assists for five points in 21 games playing in the bottom six. With the Reign this season, Kupari has five goals and four assists for nine points in 11 games. Over his AHL career, he has produced 24 goals and 24 assists for 48 points in 85 games. In Los Angeles, Kupari has eight goals and 11 assists for 19 points in 85 NHL games. He could be paired with Byfield on the fourth line in the early going.
Defenseman Jordan Spence was also recalled from Ontario after posting two goals and 19 assists for 21 points in 20 games. Spence played three games this season in Los Angeles, recording no points. Spence has played 24 NHL games, all with Los Angeles, posting two goals and six assists for eight points. In 46 games with the Reign, Spence has posted four goals and 38 assists for 42 points. Look for Spence to be a third-pairing defenseman or a seventh defenseman.
Forward Arthur Kaliyev was placed on injured reserve. Not much is known about the injury but he did block a shot against the Anaheim Ducks on December 20th and did not play the next two games. This season, Kaliyev has nine goals and 10 assists for 19 points in 34 games, with seven power-play goals.
(photo: lakingsinsider.com; Zach Dooley) (photo: lakingsinsider.com; Zach Dooley