The Los Angeles Kings have loaned young forward Quinton Byfield to the Ontario Reign of the AHL, the team announced this afternoon. No corresponding move has been announced. The moves comes after Byfield missed the previous six games due to illness.
After winning a regular job in the Kings lineup out of training camp, Byfield was off to a modest start to the season with three assists in eight games. The second-overall selection in the 2020 NHL Entry Draft, Byfield hasn’t yet hit the ceiling the Kings may have been hoping for, however that doesn’t appear to be the reason for the assignment. According to Zach Dooley of LA Kings Insider, the move appears to be one that will allow Byfield to get back into game shape after the illness.
That point was furthered by Kings head coach Todd McLellan, who spoke with Dooley. McLellan said Byfield being on the ice in the first place was a great sign, considering the forward had lost a lot of weight. McLellan added that he doesn’t believe a player should lose his place because of injury or illness and that no decision on Byfield or Rasmus Kupari, a fellow Kings first-round pick who has occupied Byfield’s place on the third line nicely, needs to be made yet because Byfield simply isn’t ready to play. Kupari has a goal and an assist in five games with the Kings so far this season.