Step one is just getting back on the ice. At least that’s what most hockey coaches will tell you regarding players returning from injury. Tonight in San Jose, Kings management could see three of their top prospects collectively take that giant step forward together.
The headline player from that group may be Quinton Byfield — it’s a situation we detailed in an article here just yesterday.
Following up on the news we first reported last week, forward Alex Turcotte has also been cleared for game action and is expected to make his season debut tonight — at least based on the line combinations coach Marco Sturm was using at practice on Wednesday (listed below).
Turcotte has been activated & traveled to SJ with the Reign. His thoughts on returning:
"It's been a pretty tough year with the uncertainty of not knowing when I was going to play again or feel normal again, but now I feel the best I’ve probably ever felt. I'm 100%." https://t.co/xcUPDdF0Pu
— Jared Shafran (@ShafReign) November 10, 2022
Sammy Fagemo is apparently set for return too. He’s been out since taking a rough hit vs. Bakersfield late last month. Prior to being sidelined, the 24-year-old Swedish forward had four goals in seven games with Ontario this season. He’s been a full participant at team practice all week and should be good to go tonight.
Meanwhile, fellow prospect Martin Chromiak made his return to practice this week, as well. He’s been slowly recovering from an illness this summer and will still need some time to fully ramp back up after missing the World Junior Championship in August. There was optimism in September when he was able to participate in the NHL Rookie Faceoff — where he shined in the few games played — only to have a later setback that saw him miss parts of training camp and any subsequent action thus far this season. Management remains hopeful that having him back on the ice and skating with the club will soon lead to Chromiak playing games for the Reign again.
One final comment worth noting… While there will be plenty of eyes on Byfield, Turcotte, and Fagemo tonight, it’s important to remember they are all coming back from various injuries. Most players in that situation get a little bit better with each passing game. They typically don’t light the world on fire right out of the gate.
ONTARIO REIGN PROJECTED LINEUP vs. SAN JOSE BARRACUDA
Andersson – Tynan – Quine
Ward – Byfield – Fagemo
Madden – Turcotte – Dudas
Thompson – Thomas – Doty
Björnfot – Spence
Moverare – Gaunce
Bisson – Allard
Game scratches: Chromiak, Grans, Helenius, Lee, Nousiainen, Wagner
Puck drop is scheduled for 7pm PST tonight and the game can be viewed on AHL TV.
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