Forward Alex Turcotte returned to the AHL on Friday night, skating on Ontario’s second line in a loss to Colorado at Toyota Arena.
He had previously suited up for 28 Reign games this season and nearly 100 more over the past three seasons. Still, after scoring his first NHL goal just a few nights ago in Nashville, he’s eager to be back in the NHL again soon. For now, this is all part of the process. He was never slated to be with the Kings full-time this season. Instead, 2023-24 was earmarked as a ‘get healthy’ season. By all indications, he’s done that and more. Turcotte has already eclipsed his career highs in goals and assists, and sits just a few games shy of beating his games played mark, as well.
Friday was the first of three potential games with the Reign before a likely recall to the Kings for their game against the visiting Edmonton Oilers next Saturday at Crypto.com Arena.
Following Ontario’s game with Colorado, we caught up with the 22-year-old prospect for a few thoughts…
Turcotte on scoring his first NHL goal:
It was obviously a dream come true; took a little longer than I’d hoped, but I got it out of the way. [Trevor Moore] made a great play to me, it was a pretty nice goal, so I was really happy. It didn’t really quite hit me until the last couple days, though. Today, I totally forgot about it, I was worried about tonight’s game. I know I have to keep playing well and keep it going. Can’t let off the gas.
On where the puck is and what he’s going to do with it:
Dana [Bryson] and Darren Granger [Kings equipment managers], I think they’re going to make it into a plaque for me. They’re going to take care of it for me. I saw Spenny’s plaque when he got his, it’s pretty cool. It’s in this glass little plaque thing and I’m assuming they’re going to do the same thing for me. They said they’re gonna take care of it, so I’m really excited to get it whenever it’s done.
— LA Kings (@LAKings) February 1, 2024
On Jordan Spence maybe even being more excited than he was about the goal:
Yeah, we’re best friends. We’ve lived together for the last couple years now and he’s kind of been there through my injuries. He knows I’ve been through a lot. To see his reaction felt really good for me, as well. I know he had an assist on it too, which is pretty cool. It was just a great moment for us.
On having so many pro coaches already — including John Wroblewski, Chris Hajt, Todd McLellan, Marco Sturm, and now Jim Hiller has been elevated to the Kings bench boss — and if that disrupts his rhythm in any way:
No. I think maybe when I was younger, maybe a little bit. Like the whole Wrobo thing, maybe that was a little difficult. You know, I had him in junior and then it was only my second year in the AHL. I think I’ve grown up a lot since then. I’m just trying to worry about my game, getting better each day, and trying to play my game no matter who’s behind the bench. Obviously, you have to listen to your coaches and follow the systems and stuff. But, I’m just trying to worry about bringing my game every day, put in my effort, and doing the best I can to help the team.
On coming back to the American League after being up with the Kings the past few weeks:
It’s still really fast. It’s just a little more chaotic, I guess. There’s still an adjustment when you come back down. It’s not as easy as people would think. I know people probably would expect you to get five points, or whatever. It’s not that easy. There’s still great players down here. They’re working really hard and they make it hard on you. It’s just a little more chaotic. That’s probably the biggest difference.
Lead photo via Daniel Stopani
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