On Sunday, the LA Kings made a flurry of roster moves in advance of Tuesday’s game against the Golden Knights. Perhaps the most notable, 2019 fifth overall pick Alex Turcotte has been assigned to the team’s taxi squad:
The @LAKings have made multiple player transactions:
Alex Turcotte (F) has been reassigned to the taxi squad from Ontario (AHL).
Drew Doughty (D) was activated from the non-roster/COVID-19 list.
Dustin Brown (F) and Olli Maatta (D) have been placed in NHL’s COVID-19 protocol.
— LA Kings PR (@LAKingsPR) December 26, 2021
Prior to the move, the NHL and NHLPA agreed to bring back the six-man taxi squads that teams carried with them last year in an effort to keep the current season going. The Kings have had their previous two games postponed and Monday’s contest that would have been in Arizona.
For now, the league is implementing the rule until the All-Star break, with the potential to continue it for the remainder of the season.
Per the tweet above, with Dustin Brown the latest forward to enter the league’s protocol, Turcotte was the man pegged from Ontario to join the team. Here’s how the forwards lined up in Sunday’s practice, via LA Kings Insider:
Iafallo – Kopitar – Kempe
Moore – Turcotte – Arvidsson
Lemieux – Lizotte – Kaliyev
Andersson – Kupari – Grundstrom
In his media availability this afternoon, head coach Todd McLellan indicated there is a “good chance” that Turcotte makes his NHL debut on Tuesday at home against the Golden Knights, assuming no other games are postponed.
As for what he’s expecting to see from the 20-year-old:
“We want to see growth. We know where he was coming out of training camp, which was close to being a full-time NHL’er. He’s gone to the American League now, and of course, their season is disrupted somewhat, and he’s fought through some injuries, but when he’s been able to play, his game’s been a very consistent, two-way game,” McLellan said. ”
He’s a player that is an energy type player, he’s involved in everything. He strips a lot of pucks, creates turnovers for his teammates, and we’ll be looking for that. How is he defensively, is he able to read things quicker and close things quicker, but by all indications, through Chris Hajt, his play there has been deserving of his recall at this point.”
The Kings and Golden Knights are scheduled for puck drop from the newly rebranded Crypto.com Arena at 7:30 PM PT.