According to multiple reports, Kings center Jarret Stoll will be suspended one game by the NHL for this hit on San Jose Sharks defenseman Ian White in the first period of Game 1 on Thursday:
The Kings, of course, are already playing without top center Anze Kopitar. Oscar Moller is the only spare player on the current roster with experience at center, though he’s been used as a winger since his last recall from Manchester. Speculation will turn to the AHL again, where centers Cory Elkins and John Zeiler have some NHL experience, and Justin Azevedo and Tyler Toffoli are also available.
But none of those names will entice as much speculation as prospect Brayden Schenn, who was assigned to Manchester by the Kings after his junior club, the Saskatoon Blades, was eliminated from the Western Hockey League playoffs Wednesday.
Schenn, 19, was the Kings’ first-round draft pick (fifth overall) in 2009. He appeared in eight games for the Kings in October, collecting no goals and two assists, before eventually being re-assigned to juniors. Schenn had 57 points (22 goals, 35 assists) in only 29 games for the Blades and Brandon Wheat Kings this season. In between, he was named Tournament MVP for silver-medal-winning Canada at the World Junior Championships in January.
In March, The Hockey News named Schenn the number one overall prospect in hockey.
Schenn played both a top-six and bottom-six role at times during his brief NHL stint this season. Though he — or any of the Monarchs’ centers, if the Kings choose to go that route — could supplant Stoll between Ryan Smyth and Dustin Brown, one of those players could also slide back in to a fourth-line role Game 2 on Saturday in San Jose, with Trevor Lewis moving up in the lineup.
Update: As first reported by TSN, the Kings will recall Zeiler from Manchester.
Update two: According to multiple reports, the Kings will not recall Zeiler, or anyone, from Manchester.