Moving on from whatever happened last weekend in San Jose is important. And it should be fairly easy for the Ontario Reign, as they received a bevy of roster reinforcements prior to facing off with their biggest rival later tonight.
First off, Rasmus Kupari is back. At the time of being called up to the NHL taxi squad (when Jaret Anderson-Dolan went down to injury during a long Kings road trip), the 20-year-old forward was leading the AHL in scoring. Additionally, he was one of the few players among Ontario’s top forwards who actually had pro experience.
Also joining the Reign is forward Lias Andersson, his first stint with the team since being acquired by the Kings in October. Originally drafted by the Rangers, Andersson had 5 points (4G, 1A) while playing 13 games for AHL Hartford in 2019-20. More recently, the 22-year-old forward has played 11 games with the Kings this season, but none since February 16. Consider this an unofficial conditioning assignment and he should be back up in the NHL soon enough. Until then, with an abundantly raw group up front, coach John Wroblewski is expected to slot Andersson in on the top line for now.
On defense, Daniel Brickley and Markus Phillips will sit out tonight (technically, they’re listed on the Kings taxi squad for now), while Austin Strand will anchor a reconfigured blueline. After showing well during his call-up to the Kings earlier this season, Strand will bring some size, listed at 6-foot-3 without skates, and additional experience to the team. He was previously a steady presence on the Reign blueline, as well as a significant contributor to the offense, as he finished with the second most goals by a defenseman each of the past two seasons.
Unfortunately, from what we’ve been able to gather, center Alex Turcotte will remain out of the lineup tonight.
While we await more information following the Reign pre-game skate, let’s take at how Wroblewski may put things together…
Ontario Reign Projected Lineup for Wed. 3/3 vs. San Diego Gulls
Tyler Madden – Lias Andersson – Sammy Fagemo
Blaine Byron – Rasmus Kupari – Arthur Kaliyev
Mikey Eyssimont – Quinton Byfield – Akil Thomas
Boko Imama – Brett Sutter – Aidan Dudas
Cole Hults – Austin Strand
Kale Clague – Mark Alt
Cameron Gaunce – Sean Durzi
Troy Grosenick (starter)
Puck drop is scheduled for 6pm PST and can be streamed through AHL TV.
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