While the rest of the league was focused on what would happen with bigger names — guys like Taylor Hall and Torey Krug — the Kings were looking for some depth additions when the Free Agency window opened on Friday. As noted in our recent report, LA has a pretty full NHL roster at the moment. Thus, they were primarily looking to add a few guys on two-way contracts; players who could primarily provide some options should somebody on coach Todd McLellan’s 23-man roster become injured.
Last year, they made similar moves with guys like Mario Kempe. And with defenseman Paul LaDue a walk-a-way free agent this time around, they were on the hunt for some help.
In goal, look for the team to announce the signing of netminder Troy Grosenick to a new one-year contract. He’s a 31-year-old Wisconsin native and will now serve as the backup to Matt Villalta in Ontario. Grosenick’s career began in the USHL, where he played for the Cedar Rapids Roughriders and coach Mark Carlson — who we just praised on twitter the other day.
How about this comment on new LA Kings draft pick Ben Meehan – Think of a more physical version of Alec Martinez. Good puck mover / offensively minded.
Both players played with USHL @RidertownUSA and coach Mark Carlson. He does a great job developing prospects.
— John Hoven | The Mayor (@mayorNHL) October 7, 2020
Grosenick went on to play at Union College and then has spent the better part of the past seven years in the AHL, first with the Sharks organization for about five seasons and the past two years with the Milwaukee Admirals (where his head coach was Karl Taylor, former ECHL Ontario Reign bench boss). Last year, he went 20-9-3 in 33 appearances, while posting a 0.920 save percentage.
In 2016-17 he was named the honored with the Aldege Bastien Memorial Award, given to the top goalie in the American League. Back in 2012, he was named the Ken Dryden Award, as the ECAC Goaltender of the Year.
Grosenick’s NHL debut in 2014 was a bit infamous, as he posted a 45 save shutout (which was an NHL record at the time for a debuting netminder) against the Carolina Hurricanes and put on quite the celebration.
Checking in with a few of our sources upon hearing the news, we were told he’s very athletic, agile, has matured his game in recent years, is an amazing teammate, and extremely hard worker.
The signing of Grosenick also means highly touted prospect Jacob Ingham will most likely start the year with ECHL Greenville.
On the defensive side of the puck, we’ve learned the Kings have come to terms with veteran Mark Alt on a new one-year, two-way contract.
Interestingly enough, the 28-year-old blueliner has had several tangential connections to the Kings franchise.
Alt, who stands 6-foot-4, was originally selected by Carolina in the second round of the 2010 NHL Draft — which was held in Los Angeles at Staples Center. He went 53rd overall that day, just a few picks after the Kings took Tyler Toffoli.
He’s gone on to have a few call-ups to the NHL with both Philadelphia and Colorado. However, he spent the first three seasons of his pro career under the tutelage of head coach Terry Murray while a member of the Flyers AHL-affiliate team.
This past season, Alt posted 13 points (5G, 8A) in 55 games with AHL Colorado and was a plus-19, while serving as the Eagles team captain. He also had six goals during the 2018-19 season. Specifically, the more interesting part there is the fact half of his totals that year came in one night, when he recorded a natural hat trick – the only three goal game of his professional career, and it happened to come against the Reign in Ontario.
Looking ahead, the right shot defenseman will now provide depth to a Reign d-core that features Sean Durzi and Austin Strand.
Meanwhile, the Kings continue to explore options at forward, as we discussed in the article linked below.
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