Yes, Quinton Byfield has been recalled to the NHL, where he’s scheduled to make his NHL debut on Wednesday night. More than 1,000 miles away, his former team is getting ready to face the Colorado Eagles and LA’s 18-year-old prospect is still wrapped into the pregame narrative of that contest, as well.
It was back in mid-February when the Ontario Reign hosted the Eagles in SoCal. Coach John Wroblewski’s squad had gone winless in their first five games to start the 2021 AHL season and questions were being fired from all directions, like missiles flying overhead in Call Of Duty: Warhead.
Enter Byfield. He set up Arthur Kaliyev for a goal in the first period. Ontario added another marker in the second frame and eventually went on to secure a 2-1 win, their first victory of the season.
It also got the Reign off on the right foot after they had dropped five of the seven matchups against the Eagles a season prior. Ontario was largely a different team this time around and it was time for a fresh start.
Ditto tonight. Again, Byfield isn’t with the Reign as they begin the first of a three-game series vs. the Eagles tonight.
Onward and upward, part II.
Ontario Reign Projected Lineup vs. Colorado Eagles
Kaliyev – Kupari – Fagemo
Johnson – Turcotte – Frk
Eyssimont – Thomas – Smith-Pelly
Imama – Sutter – Dudas
Moverare – Durzi
Gaunce – Strand
Phillips – Alt
Other Roster Notes:
— Lias Andersson has been recalled to the NHL and will play for the Kings this week.
— Kings prospect Martin Chromiak (2020 NHL Draft pick), who recently signed an AHL contract, did clear quarantine and is with the Reign on this trip. From what we’re told, he showed up in phenomenal shape and looks ready to go. However, it remains to be seen if he will draw into a game on this trip.
— Nick Halloran and Jacob Doty will be healthy scratches, while Blaine Byron is sidelined with an injury. All three players are on AHL-only contracts.
— Highly regarded LA prospect Tyler Madden remains out indefinitely due to this hit, with no timetable available yet regarding when he’ll resume skating. However, in checking in with various sources, Madden is said to be doing much better of late. In fact, there is even some cautious optimism that he may even be ready to jump back in for a game or two next month. At the very least, there is now some encouraging news regarding the 21-year-old rookie forward.
After tonight, the same two teams will play again on Friday and Saturday.
Wednesday’s puck drop is scheduled for 6pm PST and can be streamed through AHL TV.
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Photo courtesy of AHL San Diego Gulls