The Los Angeles Kings will now have another KHL star on the roster. Nikolai Prokhorkin has been recalled by the Kings after just four games with the Ontario Reign, while 2019 first-round pick Tobias Bjornfot has been sent down. Bjornfot is still just 18 but is allowed to play in the AHL given he was drafted out of Sweden. Carl Grundstrom, another top prospect of the Kings, has also been assigned to the AHL.
Prokhorkin, 26, has finally made it to the Kings after a long and winding road. Originally selected by Los Angeles in the fourth round of the 2012 draft, he actually signed a contract with the organization a few months later. That deal was ruled invalid however thanks to his KHL contract, sending him back to Russia after just eight games with the Manchester Monarchs of the AHL.
The talented winger would stay in the KHL for the next seven seasons, reaching a career-high in points last year with 41 in 41 games for SKA St. Petersburg. He signed a new one-year, entry-level contract this spring almost seven years after he was drafted.
Bjornfot actually played three games with the Kings after surprisingly making the team out of training camp, but sending him to the minor leagues actually keeps his contract from kicking in. Should he play in another seven games this season the first year of his entry-level contract would be burned, but AHL games do not count towards that total. The 18-year old was picked 22nd overall out of the SHL and has already shown his NHL upside.
Grundstrom meanwhile was acquired by the Kings last season from the Toronto Maple Leafs in the Jake Muzzin deal and scored five goals in just 15 games for them down the stretch. Still just 21 he has more developing to do before he can be a real force at the NHL level.