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Kings Preseason Game 2: Ups/Downs



Alex Turcotte

The Los Angeles Kings split the NHL global series with the Arizona Coyotes 1-1 after their 3-2 victory in Australia yesterday.

In the absence of players like Anze Kopitar and Drew Doughty, we got a look at some of the fringe players fighting for a roster spot next season.

Alex Turcotte, Tobias Bjornfot, Jaret Anderson-Dolan and Samuel Fagemo all checked in on Saturday.

I’ll say once again, that no definitive judgments should be made after a preseason game, however, I do think we learned a thing or two on Saturday.

UP: Alex Turcotte:

Alex Turcotte was given a big opportunity Saturday, taking Kopitar’s spot between Quinton Byfield and Adrian Kempe, and he did not disappoint. In fact, he was one of the Kings’ best players and set himself up with a real chance to make the roster.

He was playing with speed and purpose and showed off some of the skill that saw him drafted fifth overall. It’s far too early to say that Turcotte is going to have a breakout season and he could very well end up in Ontario still. But that early sign is exciting.

He’ll be eyeing up a spot on the team’s fourth line and can kickstart his NHL career this season. Earlier in the summer, I said he would be an ideal replacement for Alex Iafallo, and he’s starting to look like that player.

His versatility to play both center and wing is also a plus. If he can push for a roster spot and establish himself, that’s huge for the Kings.

UP: Tobias Bjornfot:

I don’t think we’ve ever seen Tobias Bjornfot that confident in a Kings jersey. He finally used his excellent skating to good effect both offensively and defensively.

He skated himself out of trouble on multiple occasions and never seemed lost in the defensive zone. His issue of being too deferential also wasn’t there.

He’ll be targeting the third-pairing left defense spot and did himself plenty of favors Saturday.

The talent has always been there with Bjornfot and if he’s now playing with confidence, he can become a valuable piece for the Kings.

DOWN: Andreas Englund:

It feels very harsh to throw Andreas Englund into the down section for a second night in a row, but he really hasn’t looked good.

He was largely at fault for the Coyote’s first goal after he got completely lost in his own zone on the penalty kill. He let Barrett Hayton walk right in front of Cam Talbot without any challenge and Hayton made him pay.

I’ll repeat a similar story with Englund in game two, I just don’t see what he brings to the roster. He hasn’t shown a ton of physicality or defensive solidity and doesn’t have much offense to his game.

There’s still plenty of time for him to solidify his spot on the roster in camp. But with Bjornfot looking confident, he’s quickly falling down the pecking order.

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