Kings News & Rumors: Rookie Faceoff, Development Camp & Olympics

In this edition of Kings News & Rumors, I discuss the team’s roster for the 2021 Rookie Faceoff and the conclusion of development camp. I also talk about the latest news involving the NHL and the Olympics, as well as what it means for Los Angeles.

Kings Announce Rookie Faceoff Roster

Later this month, the Los Angeles Kings will participate in the Rookie Faceoff. The team will play the Colorado Avalanche on Sept. 17 at 3:00 PM at the Ice Den in Scottsdale, Arizona. They will then play the Arizona Coyotes on Sept. 19 at 6:30 PM at Gila River Arena in Glendale, before playing their final game against the Vegas Golden Knights on Sept. 20 at 11:00 AM back at the Ice Den.

The Kings recently announced their full roster for the event including 16 forwards, nine defensemen, and three goaltenders. Some of LA’s top prospects will be playing at the event including big names like Arthur Kaliyev, Tyler Madden, Francesco Pinelli, Alex Turcotte, Quinton Byfield, Samuel Fagemo, Rasmus Kupari, and Brandt Clarke.

Pinelli and Clarke are two players to watch, as they were the Kings’ top two draft picks from the 2021 NHL Draft. It will be exciting to see how they fare when thrown into games with older and more experienced players while getting to see each of them play their first games in a Kings jersey.

Kings Development Camp Wraps Up

Speaking of prospects, the Kings recently completed their 2021 development camp. Injuries took a toll on LA’s lineup of prospects, taking out both Byfield and Turcotte. With two top players out, other prospects took the opportunity to showcase their skills.

One of the prospects that made a good impression was Kupari. He was drafted by the Kings back in the first round of the 2018 NHL Entry Draft, 20th overall. He came over to the United States from Finland after the 2018-19 season to play for the Kings’ AHL affiliate, the Ontario Reign. In his first 27 games with the team in 2019-20, he recorded just six goals and two assists.

Rasmus Kupari
Rasmus Kupari of Karpat (courtesy Karpat)

Last season, however, Kupari took his game to another level, putting up eight goals and 15 assists through 32 games. He also got his first shot in the NHL, playing seven games for the Kings, scoring his first goal as well. He had a productive offseason, coming back with a strong showing at development camp. He also proved that he will be competing this season for a spot on LA’s roster along with some of the more well-known names in the team’s prospect system. After camp, he commented on this coming season, saying:

“We have lots of young guys but [the Kings] have added some older guys as well which is good…I’m looking forward to camp and I’m ready to battle for a spot on the NHL roster.”

Kupari after development camp.

The 2021-22 season will be an exciting one when it comes to prospect development. We will get to see a larger sample size from some of the players that the future of the Kings depends on as the rebuild continues to come to a close, and the future of the team comes into view.

NHL Players To Participate in the Olympics

The NHL, NHLPA, and IIHF have agreed to allow NHL players to participate in the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing, China. This means that the current schedule the Kings have will stay in place, as it features an Olympic break in February. LA will play their final game before the break on Feb. 2 against the Detroit Red Wings. The team will come back on Feb. 23 in Arizona to play the Coyotes.

You may also like:

One King who we know will be participating in the Olympics is Darren Granger, LA’s Head Equipment Manager. He will represent Team Canada at the games, making sure all players have the proper gear to perform at the highest level they can.

Sign up for our regular 'Kings Newsletter' for all the latest.