LA Kings: Quinton Byfield’s ELC is franchise-changing move

LA Kings’ second overall pick Quinton Byfield signed his three-year entry-level contract on Friday, giving the franchise a true blue-chip prospect.

On Friday, LA Kings 2020 first-round pick Quinton Byfield signed his three-year entry-level contract. If you recall, we used dollar amounts outlined in the league’s new Collective Bargaining Agreement and determined that Byfield’s ELC would be approximately $10.8M. It looks like we were pretty darn close, as he signed for $10.725M.

Here’s the full contract breakdown, courtesy of CapFriendly:

Byfield dominated the OHL last season, scoring 32 goals with 50 assists in 45 games. His size and speed is a combination that’s rarely seen in centers and played a major factor in why the Kings took him with their second overall pick.

Los Angeles already had a surplus of centermen in their prospect pool, leading many to believe that the German winger in Tim Stutzle would be a better fit for the organization. But when the next Anze Kopitar or Evgeni Malkin is available, you have to take him.

And on that note, the Kings prospect pool has widely been regarded among the best, but with Byfield added to the mix, there’s no doubt they now have the best prospects in the league. Despite having guys like Alex Turcotte, Arthur Kaliyev, Samuel Fagemo, and Gabe Vilardi in their prospect pool, the Kings didn’t have that one blue-chip draft pick to hang their hat on. And now they do in Byfield.

What’s next for the 18-year-old primarily is up to the Kings’ organization and what leagues might be the least impacted by the COVID-pandemic. The WHL recently set their firm start date of January 8, 2021, and the NHL is targeting January 1. However, several executives believe that February 1 is a more realistic target.

It would seem that the World Juniors are the next competitive event for Quinton Byfield. From there, he’ll either return to Sudbury of the OHL, but that may not be the best thing for his development. He’s already proven that he can dominate the talent there, so the Kings should place him in a league that will aid, without stunting, his development.

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Overseas might be an option, with the SHL being a good competitive measure for Byfield. And while it’s unlikely that he sees the NHL in the upcoming season, I guess anything is possible. Especially if he dominates in another league.

We do know one thing is for certain. He’ll continue to wear #55 when he arrives in LA.