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Projecting the Kings’ opening night roster

September 25, 2022, 9:22 PM ET [1 Comments]
Ben Shelley
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The Los Angeles Kings play their first preseason game later today against the San Jose Sharks. As players battle for spots, we’ll take a look below at how the Kings’ opening night roster could look.

In net, we already know it’ll be Jonathan Quick and Cal Petersen (but how the playing time is split will be an interesting storyline). The defense group also seems more or less locked in (Sean Durzi is still recovering from offseason surgery but it does look he should be ready to go for the start of the season). After the Kings opted not to deal one of their right-handed defensemen this offseason Mikey Anderson, Tobias Bjornfot, Drew Doughty, Sean Durzi, Alex Edler, Matt Roy and Sean Walker are seven defensemen who are sure to have roster spots.

Jacob Moverare, Jordan Spence and even Brandt Clarke could battle for spots as well but if Durzi is healthy, the Kings will have seven NHL-caliber defensemen already penciled in and it probably makes more sense to go with 14 forwards rather than an eighth defenseman.

Up front, Viktor Arvidsson may not be ready for the season opener and there's the possibility he could land on injured reserve. Aside from Arvidsson though, there would be 11 roster spots pretty much locked in, with Quinton Byfield, Phillip Danault, Kevin Fiala, Carl Grundstrom, Adrian Kempe, Alex Iafallo, Arthur Kaliyev, Anze Kopitar, Brendan Lemieux, Blake Lizotte and Trevor Moore.

Rasmus Kupari could land back on the team's roster, but Jaret Anderson-Dolan, Gabriel Vilardi and Lias Andersson in particular will also be pushing for roster spots. That said, even if Arvidsson was ready to go, there would still be room for two more spares on the roster (provided the Kings go with 14 forwards and seven defensemen). Alex Turcotte is injured, but likely wouldn’t win a roster spot yet over the forwards mentioned above.

Of the four ‘bubble’ players above though, Kupari is the only one exempt from waivers. So should any of Anderson-Dolan, Andersson or Vilardi not make the roster, they’d have to clear waivers to go to Ontario. This has to be factored in to an extent and as a result, Kupari could be the most likely to be sent down.

If Arvidsson is ready though, this still leaves one forward who isn't exempt from waivers to be sent down. To me, this would most likely be Lias Andersson. He'll be 24 years old in a few weeks and hasn't managed to make a major impact in the two years since the Kings acquired him. Of the 'bubble' players who are eligible for waivers, he's also probably the least likely to be claimed.


So here’s a projected 23-man, opening night roster below. Should Arvidsson be placed on injured reserve, we can likely pencil in Lias Andersson to start the season on the Kings' roster.


Forwards (14): Jaret Anderson-Dolan, Viktor Arvidsson, Quinton Byfield, Phillip Danault, Kevin Fiala, Carl Grundstrom, Alex Iafallo, Adrian Kempe, Arthur Kaliyev, Anze Kopitar, Brendan Lemieux, Blake Lizotte, Trevor Moore and Gabriel Vilardi

Defensemen (7): Mikey Anderson, Tobias Bjornfot, Drew Doughty, Sean Durzi, Alex Edler, Matt Roy and Sean Walker

Goalies (2): Cal Petersen and Jonathan Quick


QuizMaker

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Kings sign Nate Thompson to PTO
Kings re-sign Sean Durzi
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