Happy Sunday, Insiders!
A few roster moves here to start the day, with the Kings leaving for Calgary this afternoon and the Ontario Reign having a tilt at 3 p.m. on home ice against the San Diego Gulls. Three players changed hands this morning, with defenseman Jacob Moverare and forward Lias Andersson recalled from AHL-Ontario and expected to join the Kings to begin a four-game road trip. In addition, forward Brendan Lemieux has been placed on injured reserve with a lower-body injury, while defenseman Brandt Clarke has been placed with the Reign on loan and is eligible to play for Ontario against the Gulls later today.
The Kings feature a pair of Swedes who were both part of the NHL team at times last season.
Anderson, 24, began the season at the AHL level, logging top-line minutes with Ontario alongside reigning AHL MVP TJ Tynan. Anderson has tallied nine points (5-4-9) in 11 games played with the Reign, skating as part of the team’s top power-play unit as well. Anderson has had his ups and downs with the Kings since being acquired from New York during the 2020 NHL Draft, collecting eight points (4-4-8) in 43 games with the big team. At his best, Anderson is an aggressive forechecker with the ability to play with both energy and skill. Looking back at last season’s training camp, Anderson was perhaps the team’s best coach, embodying the aggressive style of play the Kings were trying to implement. He’s also one of the organization’s best penalty killers and scored a huge goal last season in Calgary to secure an extra point on the road. Anderson is versatile, with the ability to play both wing and centre, making him an ideal choice to step up as a potential 13th striker.
The Andersson move is linked to Brendan Lemieux’s condition, with the winger placed on injured reserve this morning with a lower-body injury. Lemieux did not return for the third period during last night’s game against Detroit, with forward Todd McLellan indicating the early report says he could be out for “a little while.” Lemieux has played an effective, fourth-line winger role alongside Blake Lizotte and a rotating cast of third-string teammates. His physical presence and willingness to defend his teammates helped his cause. In his absence, it could give Jaret Anderson-Dolan a chance to possibly see some game action. The 23-year-old has done everything you could ask for in recent weeks despite not seeing a game, with McLellan going out of his way to praise his work ethic while not playing. Anderson-Dolan is responsible and hardworking, with the ability to play both center and wing. The kind of player you can slot into a bottom-six role and hope he can keep his momentum going without too much trouble.
Moverare, 24, earned his second NHL recall of the season. Moverare was recalled from the AHL after Alex Edler took a leg to the face during warmups in Detroit and was healthy in games against Nashville, Pittsburgh and Washington before returning to the AHL when Edler was ready to play. Moverare has two points (0-2-2) through eight AHL games, but he’s not a player you judge by points. Moverare’s game is built around solid, defensive play, taking care of his own end first and using his size to break up plays with his body and stick. Far from the flashiest player in the NHL, but a player you can feel confident checking into a third-pair role as the situation calls for.
As for Clarke, the 19-year-old defenseman has not played in each of the last five games for the Kings as the team has gone 4-0-1 without any lineup changes in that span. The blueliner has collected two points (0-2-2) through nine games with the Kings and is expected to join the Ontario Reign this afternoon for a chance to get in some game action. The setup loan can last a maximum of 14 days, with the clock starting this afternoon. Ontario plays a total of six games during that stretch, and we’ll see how the organization plans to use Clarke at the AHL level during that stretch. As always, it’s important to remember that these situations are fluid and what the “plan” may be today may change tomorrow. Expect Clarke to be used in a prominent role with the Reign with a chance to log more minutes than he did while skating in the NHL. The Reign are in action today against the Seagulls and then we’ll go from there. Want to see the last four first round picks in action? Clarke, Quinton Byfield, Alex Turcotte and Tobias Bjornfot could suit up for Ontario later this afternoon.
Later today, Jared Shafran will have postgame reactions from said Ontario/San Diego matchup, and we’ll also have a breakdown of the recent four-game homestand that saw record perfection from a team in search of an unattainable perfection in from their game. Go to Calgary!