LA Kings: Kale Clague will finish season with Ontario Reign

The LA Kings sent defenseman Kale Clague back to the AHL on Sunday, meaning he’ll finish out the season with the Ontario Reign.

Kale Clague last saw an NHL game on April 14. The LA Kings defenseman has been up and down between the NHL roster and the Ontario Reign this season. On Sunday, the Kings optioned him to the AHL after spending nearly two weeks on the taxi squad.

Clague, 22, was a second-round pick in 2016 and has six assists in 18 NHL games this season. With the Reign, he has one goal and six points in 18 games, as well. Despite the Kings featuring 11 forwards and seven defensemen for several games in a row, Clague could never crack the lineup.

Instead, Kurtis MacDermid took the lion’s share of the starts as the team’s seventh D-man. Clague had some learning moments early in the season, though. After sorting things out with a stint in the AHL, the Regina, SK, native, returned to the NHL roster and looked remarkably improved.

On the year, Clague has a 46.1 xGF%, aligning with the Kings team 46.4 xGF%, according to Natural Stat Trick.

However, with the LA Kings having just one callup from the AHL left, Clague will finish out the season in Ontario, who have just five games remaining the regular season. But the Kings D-man will get some valuable experience in the AHL’s revised playoff format, with only the Pacific Division teams competing to decide a champion.

Clague will be a restricted free agent (per CapFriendly) at the end of the season. Assuming he is re-signed, the Kings will have to decide whether to protect him from Seattle’s expansion draft.