The Los Angeles Kings could have some talent headed their way later this season. The Kings top draft pick in the 2019 NHL Draft, Alex Turcotte, who is currently playing for the University of Wisconsin, is expected to join the Kings once his season ends, according to an article about the Badgers by The Athletic’s Scott Wheeler (subscription required).
Taken fifth overall by Los Angeles, Turcotte has had a solid freshman campaign at Wisconsin after coming out of the U.S. National Team Development Program. The 19-year-old center has nine goals and 26 points in 28 games at Wisconsin, and Wheeler writes that Turcotte would prefer to go pro as soon as possible, making it likely that he will leave the Badgers when their season ends.
Turcotte has been dealing with a knee injury of late, having missed five straight games, but the forward is close to returning for the Kings' stretch run.
- Back in July of 2018, the Coyotes were thrilled when they signed forward Michael Grabner in free agency to a three-year, $10.05 million contract. However, with Arizona continually adding talent over the last season and a half, Grabner has become a casualty of the Coyotes' depth. The 32-year-old has been scratched for 16 straight games and seems to have found himself outside Arizona's starting lineup. “I think it’s more a function of Taylor Hall coming in — a piece that I didn’t necessarily foresee us adding — and Barrett (Hayton) has come in and done a nice job,” general manager John Chayka said (via The Athletic’s Craig Morgan). “We’ve got a lot of depth. We’ve got a lot of good players. Look, we’re not built off the backs of one or two stars. We have depth, and that’s a big part of our strategy in what we’re doing here, and Michael is a part of that depth.” Grabner has just eight goals in 45 games this season. Despite being injured, he scored nine goals last season in 45 games. That’s a far cry from the 27 goals he potted in the two previous years before signing with Arizona.
- The Athletic’s Allan Mitchell (subscription required) wonders what role Edmonton Oilers defenseman Oscar Klefbom will have next season. The scribe notes that Klefbom has spent much of the season being paired with young defensemen, including Joel Persson, Caleb Jones and Ethan Bear and wonders if that may continue next season with Evan Bouchard, whom most expect will join Edmonton full-time next season. However, Mitchell also notes that Klefbom has played his best hockey next to Bear, but how head coach Dave Tippett uses him will have a big impact on the success of Edmonton’s defense.