LA Kings: JF Berube much needed depth for Ontario Reign

LA Kings (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
LA Kings (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /

With the LA Kings required to carry three goalies this season, the organization brought back netminder JF Berube on an AHL contract.

With all the shuffling involved in the NHL’s 4-6 player taxi squad for the 2021 season, the LA Kings will be carrying three goalies on the roster. We recently projected several players who would be good fits for the taxi squad, with newly signed Troy Grosenick making the most sense.

The 31-year-old logged a 2.29 GAA and .920 SV% for the Nashville Predators’ AHL outfit in the 19-20 season. Assuming Grosenick is carried on the NHL roster all year, the Ontario Reign made a corresponding on Monday, bringing netminder JF Berube back on an AHL contract.

Berube, 29, was selected in the fourth round of the 2009 NHL Draft by the LA Kings.

He advanced to the Ontario Reign, who were affiliated with the ECHL at the time, recording a 2.24 GAA and .910 SV% in 24 contests during the 12-13 season. After 52 games with Manchester’s last season as the LA Kings’ AHL affiliate, he was waived by the organization on October 6, 2015, claimed by the New York Islanders later that day.

Berube made his NHL debut four days later, stopping 30-of-34 shots in a 4-1 Islanders defeat against the Chicago Blackhawks. He was selected in the Golden Knights’ expansion draft and bounced around to a couple of other clubs since then.

With Cal Petersen promoted to the NHL roster, Berube and Matt Villalta could be the primary contenders for the Ontario Reign’s starting netminder. Villata started 22 games for the Reign last season, posting a 3.27 GAA and .899 SV%. Per recent reports, Jacob Ingham returned to Los Angeles for the start of training camp. He could contend for a backup role or return to the ECHL, where he began his 20-21 season.

Ingham was off to a difficult start for the Greenville Swamp Rabbits, posting a 4.54 GAA and .845 SV% in two games. Perhaps some additional seasoning is best for the 20-year-old.