March 8: After four excellent games with the Reign, Andersson has been recalled from his conditioning loan and activated from injured reserve. The young forward scored six goals in those four games, actually matching his previous minor league high in just a week’s time. To make room on the Kings’ active roster, Brendan Lemieux has been moved to injured reserve, retroactive to March 4.
March 2: Los Angeles Kings forward Lias Andersson has been sent to the AHL on a conditioning loan, suggesting he is nearing a return from the undisclosed injury that has kept him out for nearly two months.
The loan is of the long-term injury variety, meaning he does not need to be activated before sending him down and he will still not appear on the Kings’ roster while he plays in the minor leagues. He hasn’t played an NHL game since January 8 and has just 13 appearances this season.
Last season, when Andersson spent some time in the AHL, he dominated the competition, scoring 17 points in 15 games for the Ontario Reign. That success hasn’t carried over to the Kings this year though, as the 2017 seventh-overall pick still can’t seem to find any consistency at the NHL level. In those 13 appearances this season, he has just a single point, taking his career total to 16 in 102 games.
An arbitration-eligible restricted free agent at the end of the season, Andersson is getting dangerously close to going unqualified, given he will be 24 in October and has shown very rare flashes of NHL-quality play to this point. Perhaps the Kings believe he can still take that next step, but a good stretch run this season would be huge for the future of his professional career in North America.