Placed on waivers today: Cavan Fitzgerald (CAR), Maxim Letunov (CAR), Sam Miletic (CAR), Andrew Poturalski (CAR), Spencer Smallman (CAR), Brayden Burke (LA), Kale Clague (LA), Martin Frk (LA), Jacob Moverare (LA), Garret Sparks (LA), Thomas Tynan (LA), Lukas Vejdemo (MTL) …
— Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) October 2, 2021
The majority of these moves are not surprising, given they are expected to be contributors with the Ontario Reign this season. However, Clague going on waivers is interesting, to say the least. The 23-year-old was not protected as part of Seattle’s expansion draft, and the Kraken opted to take Kurtis MacDermid instead.
Clague has tremendous upside from the blueline, but he was still sorting out his defensive responsibilities late last year in Ontario. The Regina, SK native played along the right side on Friday’s preseason game against Vegas, something he’s done before. His versatility gives the Kings a lot of flexibility on defense, as seen last year when the team suffered significant injuries along the right side.
If he clears waivers, Clague will begin the season with the Reign.
Sparks played outstanding on Thursday night against the Golden Knights in Salt Lake City, stopping 18-of-19 shots sent his way. The 28-year-old Elmhurst, Illinois native was brought into the organization to give the Reign veteran goaltending depth after losing Troy Grosenick in free agency. Sparks will get the opportunity to compete for playing time with a whole slew of goaltenders in Ontario this season, including Matt Villalta, Jacob Ingham, John Lethemon, and Lukas Parik.
And for now, Martin Frk looks AHL-bound, again. He was injured in the Kings vs Kings game a year ago, returned later in the year, and played under 10 minutes total at the NHL level. With the Reign, Frk tallied six goals and 12 points in 14 games. It’s worth noting that he’s entering the final year of his two-year contract extension.