The Los Angeles Kings will be sending nine prospects to the 2021 World Junior Championship, leading all teams in the NHL. The next closest is the Detroit Red Wings with seven, and a three-way tie between the Anaheim Ducks, New Jersey Devils, and Toronto Maple Leafs with six.
Los Angeles Kings Lead the NHL With Nine Prospects at the 2021 World Junior Championship
For the second year in a row, the Los Angeles Kings will lead the NHL by sending nine prospects to the World Junior Championship. This will tie their franchise record that was set in the 2020 tournament. The team had 11 players invited to camp, but goaltender Juho Markkanen and defenceman Helge Grans were cut from Finland and Sweden respectively. The Kings will have players representing six different countries.
The most representation the Kings have is on Team USA. The United States has three Kings prospects penciled into their roster. To start, centre Alex Turcotte will be making his return after a quiet tournament last year. In five games, the 2019 fifth overall pick put up just two assists. This year, he should be in a more elevated role. He has a chance to be a key contributor for the team and is rumored to be in the running for a leadership role.
Next, the Kings will have 2019 33rd overall pick Arthur Kaliyev playing for the Americans. Like Turcotte, Kaliyev is also a returnee. Last year, he was put in a sheltered role to start the tournament. Despite his limited minutes in the beginning, he still managed to score four goals and two assists for six points in five games. He too will be looking to play in an elevated role at this year’s tournament and score some more goals for Team USA. It’s also with noting that both Kaliyev and Turcotte have been practicing on the same line together along with Ducks prospect Trevor Zegras.
The third and final Kings prospect on the U.S. is defenceman Brock Faber. Faber, selected 45th overall in the 2020 draft, will get his first chance to play at the world juniors. So far this year, he has played six games for the University of Minnesota and scored one goal. He will likely be in more of a depth role for the U.S. in this year’s tournament.
The Kings will have two prospects playing for Team Canada at the world juniors this year. Their Canadian representation will be headlined by 2020 second overall pick, centre Quinton Byfield. Byfield played for Canada last year in a depth role as an underager and had a slightly disappointing showing. In seven games he had just one assist. This year, however, he should definitely get some more minutes and could be a major part of Canada’s team.
Along with Byfield, Canada chose to include defenceman Jordan Spence on their roster. Spence, selected 95th overall in the 2019 draft, is one of two skaters on team Canada to not be selected in the first round. The other being Vegas Golden Knights prospect Kaiden Korczak, selected in round two. So far this year, Spence has scored five goals and 11 assists for 16 points in 13 QMJHL games.
After Kings prospect Helge Grans was Sweden’s final cut from camp, defenceman Tobias Bjornfot will be LA’s lone representative on team Sweden. Picked 22nd overall in 2019, this will be his second go at the tournament, as he went scoreless in seven contests last year. Like Turcotte, Bjornfot is also rumored to be in the running for a leadership position. So far this season, he’s scored one goal and two assists for three points in 15 SHL games.
LA’s Finnish representative this year will be the 2020 66ht overall pick Kasper Simnontaival. The right-winger will get his first shot at the tournament this year. So far this season, he has one assist in seven Liiga games along with three goals and four assists for seven points in five Mestsis games. With Finland potentially lacking some offencive firepower this year, Simontaival could find himself in a top-six role.
Representing the Czech Republic will be the Kings only goalie in this year’s tournament, Lukas Parik. Parik, the 87th overall pick in 2019, will be making his second world junior appearance as well. So far this season he has posted a .896 save percentage and a goals-against-average of 3.28 through ten games in Czech2.
The final Kings prospect on this list will be winger Martin Chromiak. Chromiak, selected 128th in the 2020 draft, will also make his first world junior appearance. So far this season, he has two goals and three assists for five points through 8 games in Slovakia. Chromiak could end up playing a big role for Slovakia at this year’s tournament.