LA Kings Prepare to Say Goodbye to Trio of RFA Players

While much of the attention around the NHL at the moment involves the upcoming NHL Draft and Free Agency, there is one other matter of business on the league docket in the days ahead. Teams must submit qualifying offers to their Restricted Free Agents by Wednesday, October 7th.

In Los Angeles, GM Rob Blake and capologist Jeff Solomon have already ironed out new deals for a few players who fell in to that category following the 2019-20 season, most notably forward Austin Wagner and defenseman Sean Walker.

In talking with our sources, we’ve confirmed the Kings plans for their remaining RFAs are as follows:

Qualifying offers are not expected to be sent to goaltender Cole Kehler, defenseman Chaz Reddekopp, and forward Sheldon Rempal.

Kehler, initially signed in 2017 as an Unrestricted Free Agent with the WHL’s Portland Winterhawks, has struggled to find his way since stepping up a level. At the time of his signing, he ranked near the top in every statistical category in the WHL, including wins, goals against average, and save percentage. Over most of the past two seasons he was tending goal in the ECHL, where his save percentage was .883 and .901, respectively. The writing was on the wall for this move in the most recent rankings of the Kings goaltending depth.

Reddekopp is the only player of this trio who was originally drafted by Los Angeles, having been selected in the seventh round back at the 2015 event. Standing 6-foot-4 at 230 lbs, you couldn’t miss him on the ice. He played five seasons for the WHL Victoria Royals before turning pro, where he often bounced between the AHL and ECHL. Former Ontario coach Mike Stothers even tried him out at forward on occasion, just looking to get the big man in the lineup. In a combined 65 games played for the Reign over three seasons, he had one goal.

Rempal was one of those feast or famine type signings. He was the rare college player who turned pro after just two seasons. Thought to be too small by some scouts, he is also known as a fierce competitor who plays with a huge chip on his shoulder. Following two seasons at Clarkson University – the college home of Dave Taylor and Willie Mitchell – Rempal arrived in Ontario and posted 15 goals in 59 games. He also saw seven NHL games with the Kings that year. Unfortunately, he wasn’t able to build on that this past season, posting just four goals in 56 games.

Beyond the three players above, LA has four additional RFAs they need to wrap up soon – forwards Matt Luff, Mikey Eyssimont, and Boko Imama; as well as defenseman Austin Strand. All four are expected to remain with the organization through either Qualifying Offers or other contracts.

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Comments

  1. Looking forward to the new season, should be an exciting one with all the youngsters

  2. Douglas Sun says

    Not surprised by the three guys getting cut loose. Not entirely surprised by the guys who will be retained — but man, between last year’s draft and this year’s, there are going to be some quality prospects pushing them from behind.

  3. Hrach Alexanian says

    GO KINGS GO. TO THE CUP.