Bad news for the LA Kings, as Lias Andersson was enjoying a strong preseason, mostly on a line with Gabe Vilardi and Vladimir Tkachev.

The injury bug bit the LA Kings once again, with forward Lias Andersson landing on the Injured Reserve retroactive to Tuesday. The injury occurred in the second period of the Kings’ preseason game against the Ducks at the Staples Center on Saturday night. The team was already going to be without Olli Maatta, Quinton Byfield, and Andreas Athanasiou to begin the year.

The 23-year-old Andersson looked to have found his stride with the club this preseason. A former number seven overall draft pick in 2017, Andersson was acquired from the New York Rangers for a second-round draft pick in the 2020 NHL Draft. During his time in the LA Kings organization, he has split his time between Los Angeles and the Ontario Reign of the AHL.

He played very well on a line with Gabe Vilardi and Vladimir Tkachev during the preseason, but it appears that Arthur Kaliyev will be elevated into his lineup spot.

It is unknown how much time Andersson will miss, but his absence leaves a hole in the Kings’ bottom-six forwards. With an abundance of talent in Ontario, the team has options to replace him. Here are some of the top candidates.

Rasmus Kupari

Kupari has been patiently waiting for his chance to crack the LA Kings’ lineup, and this might be his best chance yet. The 21-year-old first-round draft pick in 2018 is a natural center but has said he would be willing to play any forward position. After tearing his ACL at the 2020 World Junior Championships, Kupari has come back looking like he did before the injury. He did get a brief seven-game callup in Los Angeles last season, where he managed to tally one goal with no assists.

Alex Turcotte

Like Kupari, Turcotte is a natural center. However, he spent a lot of time at left-wing in Ontario last season and looked comfortable in doing so. The number five overall pick of the Kings in the 2019 NHL Entry Draft has also battled injuries, but he is currently fully healthy. Like Kupari, this could be his best chance yet to get an extended look in the Los Angeles lineup.

Samuel Fagemo

If the Kings choose to add a shooter to their third line, then Samuel Fagemo could very well get the first chance to replace fellow Swede Lias Andersson. Fagemo has yet to see a single call-up to the NHL, but the idea of having a player whose calling card is shooting the puck on a line with Vilardi and Tkachev is intriguing, to say the least.

Martin Frk

Speaking of guys who can shoot the puck, remember the chemistry he had with Gabe Vilardi? ‘Nuff said.

Preseason power rankings prove LA Kings have a long way to climb

2 thoughts

  1. Frk seems to be the most forgotten player in the organization. He’s getting a bit over a million anyway so he probably doesn’t mind the absence of wear and tear as he looks for a new landing spot next year.

    1. Yeah, there was once a time where he and Vilardi seemed destined to be linemates. Seems like a longshot to get a look at this point but you never know I suppose.

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