The expectation was that he might get a good long look with the Los Angeles Kings this season, but it seems like the organization has decided that second-overall 2020 draft selection Quinton Byfield needs more seasoning. He was sent down to the AHL versus making the Kings’ roster or being placed on the team’s taxi squad.
The Kings have sent Byfield along with forward Arthur Kaliyev to the Ontario Reign of the AHL. Forwards Alex Turcotte, goalie Cal Petersen and defenseman Sean Walker have been designated as injured/non-roster. Lias Andersson and Jaret Anderson-Dolan part of LA’s taxi squad.
Byfield has a bright NHL future ahead of him. It likely just won’t start this season. He was a Silver medalist for Team Canada and he performed much better than he did the first time he was part of that roster. Still, there was a bit of a higher expectation for him in that tournament and while he played well, there were questions about him being ready to take the next steps.
The two picks around him at this year’s draft — Alexis Lafreniere and Tim Stuetzle, will both play this season. Lafreniere will be a key part of the New York Rangers offense, while Stuetzle will get a good long look with the Ottawa Senators. Byfield, 18, doesn’t have a junior team to go back to yet as the OHL hasn’t set a start date for their season. He spent the last two seasons with the Sudbury Wolves.
Expect More Talk About Byfield Down the Road
It’s unlikely this decision is a final one or the last time we hear Byfield’s name this season. If the Kings place him in AHL — should the OHL not get going again — he’ll get the chance to develop more slowly. At the same time, his ELC may slide forward.
If the Kings bring him up to the NHL roster, his contract will slide and there’s a chance he could struggle if thrown into the deep too soon.
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