We’ll get to the 2021 Rookie Faceoff news in just a moment.
First up, though, comes a big announcement.
MayorsManor has learned the LA Kings will play host to the 2022 NHL Rookie Faceoff. This is a major departure to plans previously shared. Prior to the pandemic causing chaos to hockey schedules everywhere, the Arizona Coyotes had already been announced as hosts for the 2020 prospect showcase. We had also reported (and had it confirmed by multiple NHL team sources), the San Jose Sharks would host in 2021 at their brand new 4,000 seat AHL arena. LA was interested in hosting the following season.
When things were shut down last year, the Coyotes simply slid into the 2021 spot because they were next in line. As recently as last month, we were still hearing San Jose would get next year’s event.
However, we often reference little whispers or conversations we come across, and that certainly applies here. Back in May, we heard a few tidbits about the Kings being interested in leapfrogging the Sharks and getting the event next year. Given the San Jose Barracuda will have a brand new building to show off — scheduled to open next summer — we didn’t think that was very likely.
Well, lo and behold, LA management pulled it off. Toyota Sports Performance Center in El Segundo has been tabbed to host the Rookie Faceoff in September 2022.
For those unfamiliar, the NHL Rookie Faceoff officially began in 2018 when Vegas hosted at their training facility in Summerlin. Six teams participated: the Vegas Golden Knights, LA Kings, Anaheim Ducks, Arizona Coyotes, San Jose Sharks, and Colorado Avalanche.
Overall, the event was extremely successful, with nearly every game sold out. Each team played three games, with the Kings squaring off against the Ducks, Coyotes, and Golden Knights (MM photo gallery here and here). Prospects who participated included: Jaret Anderson-Dolan, Kale Clague, Akil Thomas, and Sean Walker.
In 2019, the Rookie Faceoff returned, this time hosted by Anaheim at their sprawling training facility in Irvine. The same six teams competed in the event, with LA playing San Jose, Colorado, and Anaheim. Kings prospects included Arthur Kaliyev, Sammy Fagemo, Blake Lizotte, Toby Bjornfot, Jordan Spence, and Mikey Anderson (MM photo galleries here, here, and here).
Now back to this year’s event…
For this year’s event in Arizona, we have confirmed the Kings first of three games will take place on Friday, September 17. LA will play two additional games and have one day off before the tournament concludes on Monday, September 20.
After some initial questions surrounding the Avalanche participating again, it’s all been resolved and the same six teams will return for the 2021 Rookie Faceoff.
Among a long list of Kings prospects scheduled to play this year would be Quinton Byfield, Alex Turcotte, Arthur Kaliyev, Aidan Dudas, Tyler Madden, Jacob Moverare, Sean Durzi, Helge Grans, and newly-signed first round draft pick Brandt Clarke.
We believe one of the Kings three games will be against Arizona. However, nothing appears to be set yet regarding their other two opponents.
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