The Los Angeles Kings are only just starting their rebuilding phase of their franchise, and the team has already decided that KHL veteran winger Nikolai Prokhorkin won’t be part of their immediate future as the team announced that they have assigned him to the Ontario Reign of the AHL.
The 25-year-old was brought in to Los Angeles with the hopes of immediately jumping into their lineup. He has played six full seasons in the KHL already, and had his best season last year when he picked up career highs with St. Petersburg SKA with 20 goals and 41 points. A fourth-round pick back in 2012, he opted to sign with the Kings in May to a one-year, entry-level contract, which would make him a restricted free agent next season. He did attempt to sign with the franchise back in 2012 and played eight games with the Manchester Monarchs of the AHL, before his contract was ruled illegal and was forced to return to Russia.
Prokhorkin does have a European assignment clause that can go into effect at a later date, according to Fox Sports Jon Rosen, but there so far has been no indication that Prokhorkin intends to return to the KHL. With a significant amount of young players on the roster, Prokhorkin may just want to play for Ontario to get used to North American rinks and hope the team will recall him at some point so he can prove he belongs in the Kings’ lineup at a later date.