LA Kings’ recent roster movement includes entry-level contracts and recalls

Apr 2, 2022; Winnipeg, Manitoba, CAN;Los Angeles Kings defenseman Jordan Spence (53) at Canada Life Centre. Mandatory Credit: James Carey Lauder-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 2, 2022; Winnipeg, Manitoba, CAN;Los Angeles Kings defenseman Jordan Spence (53) at Canada Life Centre. Mandatory Credit: James Carey Lauder-USA TODAY Sports /

The LA Kings have had one of the deepest prospect pools across the entire league for several years. Now, the Kings are in a transition period where some of their brightest prospects have earned full-time spots on the roster, thus dwindling their prospect pool – guys like Quinton Byfield, Arthur Kaliyev, and Gabriel Vilardi have all graduated to the NHL.

Leaving players like Francesco Pinelli, Brandt Clarke, Jack Hughes, and Alex Laferriere in the prospect pool waiting for their chance to make it to the NHL in a full-time role. However, the NHL ice could be closer to a possibility than a dream for some of these prospects.

Goaltender Erik Portillo is likely to join the Ontario Reign at the beginning of next season, foregoing his senior season at the University of Michigan.

Junior goaltender Erik Portillo is currently the backstop for the Michigan Wolverines. Michigan is the No. 3 seed in the NCAA Men’s Ice Hockey Tournament and is currently one of the final four teams in the bracket. The next matchup for Michigan is Quinnipiac on April 6th at 8:30 EDT.

In the Wolverines’ last matchup against the Penn State Nittany Lions, the 6-foot-6, 220-pound Portillo recorded 31 saves and only allowed one goal. His performance in net gave his team the opportunity to score the game-winning goal in overtime to punch their ticket for a berth in the Frozen Four.

Erik Portillo has a very bright future ahead of him and could become the Kings’ starting goaltender in a few years if he progresses at the rate people think he will. And if he does, then this could be one of the franchise-altering moves we look back on that we can contribute to Rob Blake.

According to the Los Angeles Kings message board, he is fully expected to sign a two-year entry level contract once his season at Michigan is over.

Harvard right winger Alex Laferriere has ‘unofficially’ signed a two-year entry level contract with the Los Angeles Kings.

Two days ago, an official content partner of the Los Angeles Kings, Mayor’s Manor reported that Alex Laferriere has signed a two-year entry level contract with the Kings.

The expected process for the 6-foot, 170-pound winger is as follows:

"“From what we understand, Laferriere will be signing an Amateur Tryout Contract (ATO) and report to AHL Ontario this week. The Reign have eight regular season games remaining on their schedule, including the next three at home – beginning Wednesday. Laferriere is expected to play in about five of them. Then, he will report to the Kings for their final two games of the regular season, Mon. Apr. 10 vs. Vancouver and Thurs. Apr. 13 at Anaheim. He most likely won’t play in either game. However, by activating his NHL contract for the 2022-23 season, it will ‘burn a year’ off the deal. Meaning, he will have two full seasons left on his contract starting with the 2023-24 campaign.Some may be confused at this point, trying to connect the dots back to Brandt Clarke, and asking how Laferriere will use up a full year of his contract without playing the often-referred to 10 NHL games. The simple answer is, it’s an age thing. Younger players can have their contract ‘slide’ if they don’t play the 10 games. In the case of Clarke, he signed his ELC as an 18-year-old in 2021. His three-year deal won’t actually begin until next season because it was allowed to slide (be placed on hold or moved to the next season) due to his age and lack of NHL games played. The situation with Laferriere is completely different. As an older player, he can no longer have his deal slide. Thus, the first season of his contract will be the 2022-23 NHL campaign, even if he doesn’t play a single game.”"

Having both Erik Portillo and Alex Laferriere in the Ontario Reign system with the ability to bounce up to the main Kings organization is enthralling for all parties involved. The future of Los Angeles continue to get brighter, especially with the way they are playing this year.

Defenseman Jordan Spence is recalled from the Los Angeles Kings to the Ontario Reign.

Jordan Spence was called up to the NHL on March 8th and was just recently sent back down to Ontario yesterday. The Kings only have one injured player at the moment, Gabriel Vilardi, so it makes roster sense to send Jordan Spence back down to the AHL.

The 22-year old right-handed defenseman only recorded one assist in five NHL games this season and is now set to expound on his AHL production. In 50 games with the Reign this year, Spence has potted four goals and recorded 37 assists for a total of 41 points.

On March 26th, Sean Durzi returned to the lineup from an injury, which is likely the reason Jordan was sent back down to the minors. The Kings look to continue their impressive point streak and Jordan Spence looks to help the Reign continue their win streak.

It’s a temporary win-win for both sides.