The info came in just before 9am – Michael Amadio was going on waivers.
A little LA Kings news for you…
Expecting Michael Amadio to be placed on waivers today.
Originally explained here https://t.co/YvF9NdGo1J
— John Hoven | The Mayor (@mayorNHL) March 19, 2021
While the move didn’t come as a surprise, as it had been expected for quite some time, it did come as a sobering reality. You can be the nicest guy in the world, your teammates can love you, and you can be adored by the coaching staff. Still, hockey is a results oriented business. And Amadio just wasn’t getting the job done.
Originally selected by LA at the 2014 NHL Entry Draft, he improved to be better than a point-per-game player in his two OHL seasons following the Kings taking him in the third round. His final year with the North Bay Battalion in 2015-16, Amadio recorded 50 goals and 98 points in 68 games. While scouts didn’t expect him to produce at that level in the NHL, there was at least optimism the 6-foot-1 forward perhaps had a higher ceiling than first imagined.
His AHL career was exactly what the Kings wanted from him. In his rookie season, Amadio recorded 41 points (16G, 25A) in 58 games – about what you would expect, as he took a step up in competition. The following year, he elevated his output and had 35 points in 32 games with the Reign — and was riding a 17-game point streak — before earning a callup to the Kings.
He made it as high as No. 4 in the LA Kings Prospect Rankings back in 2018, where he was projected as a fourth line center and much of the scouting report provided still rings true three years later.
“Overall, he’s most effective at center, so don’t read too much into it when he’s used at wing. … Despite scoring 50 goals that season, he isn’t a 50-goal scorer. Amadio plays a two-way game. Yet, as he becomes more comfortable with his defensive responsibilities as a pro, he lets his offensive side start to shine through. He has ability, no doubt. His biggest challenge will be to do it consistently. He’s come a long way in his first two seasons, with plenty of room still to grow. For example, he needs to get stronger, which will help his skating. He can make plays, as he often showed playing with Matt Moulson … Amadio still needs to work on his face offs and it remains to be seen where he will ultimately end up. … Amadio is a nice guy. He would benefit from being a bit pushier, not in a rude way though. It’s more about advancing beyond finding satisfaction in just being there; he needs to push harder to make his own spot on the team.”
This year marked his fourth NHL season and he accumulated 168 games, recording 39 points (16G, 23A) in the process. Over 20 games played for LA during the 2021 season, Amadio has only posted two assists.
Where things go from here will become more clear in 24 hours. Another NHL team could claim him. For some teams, he’s a serviceable bottom-6 player in the NHL on an affordable contract, just $700k AAV. Amadio will be an RFA this summer.
Should he go unclaimed, the Kings could assign Amadio to the taxi squad or reassign him to AHL Ontario.
How's this for irony…
If Amadio clears waivers, he'll be reassigned to AHL Ontario. And the Reign play tomorrow afternoon in Bakersfield. What was Amadio's last AHL game?
Ontario at Bako 4/13/2019
(He had 2🍎s in that game) pic.twitter.com/Eh1MyOsCHE
— The Mayor | John Hoven (@mayorNHL) March 19, 2021
The move to place Amadio on waivers all but secures what was already widely expected – Jaret Anderson-Dolan has secured his NHL roster spot.
Martin Frk, whose injury earlier this season may have extended Amadio’s time in the NHL due to an extra roster spot being available, remains sidelined and his return date is TBD.
And in one final domino from today’s move, Kale Clague can finally have his No. 10 should he ever earn a recall to the NHL.
We asked Todd McLellan for a few comments on Amadio’s situation following the Kings morning practice – “It was a decision the organization made. Gives us a little bit of flexibility with the roster, as a number of players started getting healthier. Look at JAD coming back into the lineup, Quick, Brown – not that all of them were on IR. Marty Frk is also starting to skate, so it gives us some flexibility.”
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