Kings News & Rumors: Waivers, Roster Cuts & More

In this edition of LA Kings News & Rumors, I have broken down management’s move to place several players on waivers and their roster cuts from training camp. I have also taken the opportunity to update the team’s 2021-22 lineup projection from earlier this offseason after the recent decisions.

Kings Place Six Players on Waivers, Assigned to the Reign

Over the weekend, the Kings placed six players on waivers, including Brayden Burke, Jacob Moverare, Garret Sparks, TJ Tynan, and, more significantly, Martin Frk and Kale Clague. All six cleared waivers and have been assigned to the Kings’ American Hockey League (AHL) affiliate, the Ontario Reign.

Frk began his Kings career in 2019-20, scoring six goals and two assists in 17 games. With one of the fastest shots in the game, he was expected to play a significant number of games last season, but several injuries got in the way, and he only played one NHL game last season. Healthy again, he will use the minutes earned in the AHL to get back to Los Angeles.

Martin Frk LA Kings
Martin Frk, Los Angeles Kings (Photo by Rob Curtis/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Clague was drafted 51st overall by the Kings in 2016. He played most of the 2018-19 and 2019-20 seasons in the AHL, recording 15 goals and 39 assists. In 2019-20, he also made his NHL debut, playing four games.

Related: Los Angeles Kings 2021-22 Season Preview Section

Last season, he split games between the AHL and NHL; he put up one goal and 11 assists in 23 games in Ontario and six assists in 18 games in Los Angeles. He has the potential to be a very solid defenseman in the future, but he will first have to prove it in the AHL, where he will start the season.

Kings Cut Training Camp Roster to 34

This weekend, the Kings also moved many other players to the AHL, including a lot of their top prospects, like Samuel Fagemo, Arthur Kaliyev, Rasmus Kupari, and Alex Turcotte.

The most surprising of the bunch was Jaret Anderson-Dolan. In my initial projections for the Kings’ 2021-22 forward group, I had him centering the fourth line. He was drafted by the team 41st overall in 2017. In his first full AHL campaign in 2019-20, he scored eight goals and 20 assists in 53 games.

Jaret Anderson-Dolan Los Angeles Kings
Jaret Anderson-Dolan, Los Angeles Kings (Amy Irvin / The Hockey Writers)

Last season, Anderson-Dolan played in most of the Kings’ games, putting up seven goals and four assists through 34 contests. Given the experience he gained and the offense that he provided, I expected LA to bring him back to start the season.

Along with the rest of the players sent to the Reign, Anderson-Dolan will aim to prove that he is ready to be a full-time NHLer, and I will be very surprised if none of the top prospects get NHL time this season. Fagemo, Kaliyev, Kupari, Turcotte, and Anderson-Dolan likely have a future with the team, and the Kings should give all of them a spot in the lineup at some point this season.

Kings Lineup Projection Update

With the recent cuts from training camp, here are my updated projections for the Kings’ opening night lineup. I have only updated the forwards, given that the defensemen and goalies that I picked earlier this offseason all look to have made the team.

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John Hoven of Mayor’s Manor recently reported that the top three lines look nearly set, but the fourth line is still up for debate. The Kings have two options here, in my opinion: one without Quinton Byfield and one with him. Without him, the forward lines should look like this:

Viktor ArvidssonAnze KopitarDustin Brown
Vladimir TkachevPhillip DanaultAlex Iafallo
Adrian KempeGabriel VilardiLias Andersson
Andreas AthanasiouTrevor MooreCarl Grundstrom

The Kings would typically have to decide whether to play Byfield in the NHL or send him back to the Ontario Hockey League (OHL). This season, though, they can send him to the AHL. Management might do this to prioritize his long-term development, but reports suggest that he is a strong candidate to make the team out of camp. With him on the roster, the lines could look like this:

Viktor ArvidssonAnze KopitarDustin Brown
Vladimir TkachevPhillip DanaultAlex Iafallo
Adrian KempeGabriel VilardiLias Andersson
Andreas AthanasiouQuinton ByfieldTrevor Moore

This lineup looks quite different from the group I initially drafted. We will only find out what works when the Kings take on the Vegas Golden Knights on opening night on Oct. 14, when we’ll get our first look at both the veterans who are back and the many new faces who will make an impact this season.

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