You knew something was going to change with two consecutive shut-out losses for the Los Angeles Kings. Rob Blake made his first moves on the season on Friday morning as the Kings announced that forward Nikolai Prokhorkin was being recalled from the Ontario Reign. In corresponding moves, forward Carl Grundstrom and defenseman Tobias Bjornfot were assigned to the AHL.
Prokhorkin has recorded two assists in four games with the Reign. While initially thought to be a lock to make the Kings out of training camp, inconsistent performance, on top of the surprising emergence of Blake Lizotte, meant that it was hard to find a place in the lineup for him. The addition of Prokhorkin adds more options for the Kings up the middle. Additionally, the Russian forward is known to have an European out clause in his contract, stipulating that he could return to the KHL if not on an NHL roster by a certain point in time. The Kings may want to give him an extended audition in the NHL now to see how he fares.
Grundstrom, acquired in the trade for Jake Muzzin, has played in one game with the Kings so far this season, recording one assist. In the 2018-19 season, he recorded 10 points (three goals, seven assists) in 13 games with the Reign.
Bjornfot, one of the youngest players in the NHL this season and the fifth youngest player in Kings history to take the ice, played in three games for the Kings, recording no points. Bjornfot would also be eligible to return to Djurgårdens in Sweden. As a prospect drafted out of Europe, Bjornfot is not subject to the same age restrictions in assignment to the AHL as players drafted out of the Canadian junior leagues.
Per CapFriendly, games played in the AHL for Bjornfot do not count towards activating the first year of his Entry Level Contract, so there is no concern about what happens to him once he reaches a total of nine games played.
Seeing as Björnfot is 18, and because he hasn't yet played in 10 NHL games, his contract remains slide eligible even in the AHL— CapFriendly (@CapFriendly) October 18, 2019
However, assigning him to the AHL rather than Junior or Europe, means his contact will begin to count towards their 50 contract limit, putting LA at 49 https://t.co/vQcwVCpufO
The Ontario Reign next take the ice on Saturday, October 19, in an away game against the San Jose Barracuda.