The @LAKings have made the following player transactions:
Austin Strand (D) and Christian Wolanin (D) have been recalled to the Kings from the taxi squad.
— LA Kings PR (@LAKingsPR) February 2, 2022
Additionally, the team officially recalled defensemen Austin Strand and Christian Wolanin. The latter was added to the taxi squad earlier this week after the Kings played short-handed on defense in Sunday’s impressive 4-3 victory in Pittsburgh.
Back to Kupari, though.
The 21-year-old got an extended look this season, playing in 37 games while recording three goals and nine points. The Finnish forward jumped out to a productive start with goals in back-to-back games at the end of October. However, he hasn’t shown much since then, logging just one goal and five assists. He hasn’t played since January 18, serving as a healthy scratch for the entirety of the Kings’ road trip. Sending him back to Ontario felt inevitable, but he’ll have the opportunity for regular playing time and additional seasoning.
If there’s any proof of how well that’s worked, just look at Gabe Vilardi. Hopefully, Kupari can find his scoring touch and come back up more confident and ready to contribute.
As for Christian Wolanin, he’s been the Swiss Army knife for the LA Kings since being claimed off waivers in early December. Up and down between the AHL and NHL clubs, the 26-year-old has played in seven games with the Kings this season, scoring a goal and two points. With Mikey Anderson out with an injury and Matt Roy in COVID protocol, Jacob Moverare and Austin Strand stepped in admirably against a tough opponent in the Penguins.
We’ll see if Wolanin draws in tonight against the Red Wings.