This recall was likely necessitated by an injury sustained by top-pairing defenseman Mikey Anderson, an injury that knocked him out of last night’s 2-0 loss to the Edmonton Oilers.
While the Kings already had seven defensemen on their roster (Sean Walker was a healthy scratch versus Edmonton) adding Bjornfot gives coach Todd McLellan additional defensive reinforcements for the Kings’ upcoming trip to the Pacific Northwest, with games against the Vancouver Canucks and Seattle Kraken.
Bjornfot, 21, is a 2019 first-round pick who has spent most of this season with the Reign. With the Kings’ trade deadline acquisition of Vladislav Gavrikov, the team’s pool of left-shot defensemen got even deeper, further pushing Bjornfot down the depth chart, even though he played 70 NHL games last season.
In the AHL, Bjornfot has played a top-pairing, minutes-eating role that has often paired him alongside 2019 fourth-rounder Jordan Spence. His sound overall game has led him to be the defensive anchor on that pairing, and as a result, he has helped Spence play with the sort of offensive freedom that has allowed him to post 42 points in 51 games.
Bjornfot’s numbers aren’t quite there (he has 12 points in 47 games) but he has had a strong run of recent production, with a four-game point streak between March 21st and 26th.
Now back in the NHL for the first time since February, Bjornfot will have the chance to re-enter the Kings’ lineup and show what he can do on an NHL stage. As he’s eligible for restricted free agency over the summer, any NHL time Bjornfot receives could be crucial in helping him leave a strong impression before offseason negotiations.