Birthdate: September 3, 2000
Birthplace: Göteborg, SWE
Weight: 215 lbs
Drafted: 3rd Round, 67th overall (Buffalo), in the 2019 NHL Entry Draft
Portillo is quite the interesting goaltender for the LA Kings pipeline. He played his final year at the University of Michigan last season and was open about not wanting to sign with the Buffalo Sabres, the team that drafted him. Overall, his play at Michigan was nothing short of stellar. Never a sub-.900 Save Percentage goaltender, Portillo finished his college career with a 25-11-2 campaign, backstopping the Wolverines all the way to the national semifinal. Not that this work is bad; Portillo is a back-to-back collegiate conference champion with the Wolverines after all. This save on Quinnipiac shows just what he brought to Michigan’s team.
— EP Rinkside (@EPRinkside) April 7, 2023
Though he was selected in the third round, Portillo played nothing short of Elite in college, amassing 60 wins in his 87-game career. He is absolutely nothing if not consistent, having a grand total of one sub .900 save percentage season his entire life. Said season wasn’t even really a season, it was a tournament for the Swedish U20 team. It was only four starts. He could very easily take over the crease in Ontario and run with it as the Reign truly need someone who can stabilize the position after the last couple of years.
While Kings fans probably hope that Portillo takes over the crease from Copley and Talbot, he won’t. He could get into a backup position if there is a need but I would think that he will mostly play in the AHL. Portillo is only 23 years old and he has the ability to be the LA Kings starter of the future. He can absolutely take control of the starting job over time, but he has to prove that he has what it takes. Every goaltender in the LA Kings system who is signed to a professional contract has only a year on their contract, including Portillo. If he can prove that he is the guy to turn to, then he may only need a year in the AHL to get going.
The expectation for the young goaltender should be that he gets into at least 45-50 games for the Ontario Reign this season and hopefully wins about 35 of those. He has the ability, he has the skillset, it’s all about whether he has the compete. It will be fun watching him use those skills in an Inland Empire jersey this season.
Featured image credit: Jonathan Knight/Michigan Athletics