ONTARIO, CA – With only a week left before American Hockey League camps open, rosters are starting to take shape across the league. Today, we take a look at what the Reign are starting out with and possible movement.
We’ll start by looking at the Reign’s line-up for the playoffs last season. The roster included a few who didn’t play in the postseason, but we’ve included them anyway.
The names in red will not be returning to the Reign. They have all either signed/are trying out elsewhere, left for Europe or retired. Those names listed in blue have the best chance of staying with the Kings out of camp.
Even with Michael Mersch & Adrian Kempe being sent back down from the Los Angeles Kings, the Reign had had spaces available on the left side. Filling out this position will be Spencer Watson and Bokondji Imama. Watson and Imama’s junior teams both went deep in the playoffs last season, so they were not able to join the Reign before they were eliminated. Both Imama and Watson were unremarkable in the rookie game, but Imama seemed further along than Watson.
Joining the Reign after spending last season with the Stockton Heat will be Jamie Devane. Devane has been a bit of a journeyman in the AHL since being drafted by the Maple Leafs, topping out at six goals in his best season. Last in the left wing category is Austin Wagner. Wagner is currently nursing a shoulder injury and would not be able to join the Reign until at least January.
The Reign are currently five deep at Center, not including Alex Iafallo who is also expected to join the Reign this year after spending last year at the University of Minnesota-Duluth. Expect to see Philippe Maillet on one of the top lines and Brett Sutter on the other. That leaves Mike Amadio, Andrew Crescenzi, Keegan Iverson and Iafallo battling for the last two center positions.
The right wing is also pretty full, but Jonny Brodzinski has a chance to fight for a place with the Kings. For now, we’ll assume he is going to stay with the Reign. Joining this group will be Matt Schmalz, who did play three games with the Reign last season, but was with the Owen Sound Attack for the playoffs. Otherwise, this position will remain largely unchanged.
The defense is pretty set. Paul LaDue is the biggest wildcard as the Kings have been impressed with him and may have a position for him coming out of camp. Filling that hole will be Sean Walker. Walker finished last season with Bowling Green as their captain, logging 10 goals in his best year with the team.
For now, it looks like Jack Campbell and Jeff Zatkoff will once again be sharing the Reign’s net. Zatkoff will be journeying to China with the Kings while Campbell starts the season with the Reign. Or, that is how it is planned currently.
It might change next week.
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