Los Angeles Kings Quinton Byfield suffers bad break; out indefinitely with ankle injury

Los Angeles Kings center Quinton Byfield landed on injured reserve Wednesday, a day after breaking his left ankle.

According to the team, the 19-year-old rookie will be sidelined indefinitely.

Byfield got hurt in the final period of the Kings’ 4-1 home preseason loss to the Coyotes when hit by Arizona’s Christian Fischer. Byfield finished the night with two shots on goal.

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Byfield one of the NHL’s top young prospects

Injuries are always terrible, but they sting more when they occur in exhibition games. Byfield it one of the game’s bright young stars and was set for a promising season.

Byfield is big, strong, with good hands, and hockey smarts. The Kings selected him second overall behind Lafrenière in the 2020 Draft. He made his NHL debut in April.

Quinton Byfield
Apr 30, 2021; Anaheim, California, USA; Los Angeles Kings center Quinton Byfield (55) before a face off against the Anaheim Ducks during the first period at Honda Center. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

In six games for Los Angeles last season, Byfield recorded one assist and two penalty minutes while averaging 15:01 of ice time. He spent most of last season with the Kings’ AHL affiliate in Ontario, Calif., recording eight goals and 12 assists in 32 games.

This year, he was ready to be given a great chance to center the third line. The Kings have Anze Kopitar and Phillip Danault to handle the bulk of the heavy lifting down the middle, thus allowing the 6-4 Byfield time to develop at the NHL level.

There’s no doubt in everyone’s mind that one day Byfield will replace Kopitar as the team’s #1 center. However, if he’s given enough ice time and PP opportunities, he could win the Calder Trophy in 2021-22.

Looking to fill the vacancy Byfield leaves, the Kings called up Arthur Kaliyev, Alex Turcotte, Rasmus Kupari and Jaret Anderson-Dolan from Ontario ahead of a Wednesday preseason road game against the Anaheim Ducks.

The Kings open the regular season Oct. 14 against the visiting Vegas Golden Knights.

–Field Level Media contributed to this report