The Los Angeles Kings have lost a key player for the next little while, as Alex Iafallo has been placed on injured reserve. The speedy forward suffered a lower-body injury last night against the Detroit Red Wings after delivering a hit in the third period. He limped off the ice and now will be sidelined for at least the next several games. Jon Rosen of NHL Network tweets that Iafallo is out “week-to-week” and is headed back to Los Angeles for further evaluation.
In his roster spot, the team has recalled defenseman Jacob Moverare from the AHL. The 24-year-old played 19 games for the team last season but failed to make the NHL roster out of camp. He gives the team an additional defender as they deal with a less serious injury for Alex Edler, who got hit in the face with a puck in warmup last night.
It is unfortunate news for Iafallo, who was off to a brilliant start this season with five points while registering at least one in all four games. The 28-year-old is in the second season of a four-year, $16MM contract he signed in 2021 and is one of the many talented wingers that make the Kings lineup so deep. He plays a strong two-way game without taking any penalties (he has just 14 minutes since the start of 2020-21) and offers a solid amount of secondary scoring.
Without him, the teams will have to shuffle things around a bit and perhaps give a bit more opportunity to a young player. Arthur Kaliyev (who didn’t play yesterday) is the most likely fit, though there has been a lack of trust for the 21-year-old early this year. He is averaging just over nine minutes of ice time in the three games he has played, though that has still resulted in a goal and assist for the talented young forward. An opportunity like this could be just what he needs to build on a strong rookie season, where he scored 14 goals and 27 points in 80 games.