Moving forward with the Los Angeles Kings prospect preview series, today’s prospect is 2019 second-round pick, Samuel Fagemo. The Göteborg, Sweden native is entering his third season in North America, having spent the last two with the Ontario Reign in the American Hockey League (AHL).
Fagemo’s 2021-22 Season
Fagemo had a fantastic 2021-22 season, taking a massive step in his adaptation to North American hockey. He scored 27 goals, adding 17 assists, for 44 total points on one of the AHL’s most potent offenses. His 27 goals tied him for second-most amongst players under 22 years old, with nine tallies coming on the man advantage.
Fagemo’s strong play earned him an NHL call-up in January where he played four games, registering zero points. His play was more promising than his stat line though. He played mostly on the team’s top line, where he didn’t look out of place. After his cup of coffee with the Kings, he returned to the AHL an even better player, scoring 30 points in his remaining 37 games. He added three goals in five playoff games in what was a disappointing first-round exit for the Reign and finished fourth on the team in points and second in goals.
Fagemo will head into training camp hoping to force his way onto the Kings roster, however, he’ll find that difficult given the team’s logjam at forward. It’s more likely that he starts this season back in the AHL, acting as the team’s first call-up in case of injury. Starting in the minors won’t be a negative for him, as he can continue working on his 200-foot play and continue developing into a dangerous goalscorer at the highest level.
Fagemo should get an elevated role this season, as the team lost star goalscorer Martin Frk to free agency during the offseason. He’ll likely move onto league MVP T.J. Tynan’s wing and become the main trigger man on the top powerplay unit. Even if he begins in the AHL, he won’t be there all season and should get a few chances up with the Kings.
2022-23 Expectations For Fagemo
Given an elevated role, particularly on the power play, I would expect a massive goalscoring season from Fagemo. With players like Tynan, Akil Thomas, and one of Jordan Spence or Helge Grans on that unit feeding one-timers to him, he should be near the league lead in power-play goals. He has improved every season and I would expect another significant improvement from him this summer, as he’s continued to develop his skating and reading of the game to complement his elite-level shot.
Fagemo has been my wildcard to make the roster out of camp all summer and still is, especially if Viktor Arvidsson isn’t ready to start the season. Assuming he’s battling for a spot with players like Brendan Lemieux and Gabe Vilardi, I see no reason to think he can’t win that spot. He would be an asset on the man advantage and could function as a like-for-like replacement for Arthur Kaliyev on Blake Lizotte’s wing. Fagemo has a future on the Kings’ roster, and the future could be now for his NHL career.
Goals Galore for Fagemo
Fagemo is still likely to start with the Reign next season, and that has to be disappointing for AHL goalies, who he’ll haunt all season. While I wouldn’t expect anyone to score at the insane level that Frk has in the last few seasons for the Reign, Fagemo is a great replacement for the fan favorite. Fans will see a lot more of the one-timer that saw him lead the 2020 World Junior Championship, which should excite everyone who watches the Reign.