The LA Kings are set to begin the 2019-20 season tomorrow, Oct. 5, in Edmonton at 6 p.m. PT as new head coach Todd McLellan leads the club against his former team. The Kings will continue their three-game road trip through Calgary (Oct. 8) and Vancouver (Oct. 9) before returning to LA for their home opening weekend on Oct. 12 (3 p.m. against Nashville) and Oct. 13 (7 p.m. against Vegas) to open the 20th season at STAPLES Center.
The first two games of the road trip will be broadcast on FOX Sports West, with Alex Faust and Jim Fox in the booth, joined on the desk by Patrick O'Neal and rink-side with Carrlyn Bathe. The games may also be seen on the FOX Sports Go app and FOXSportsGO.com. All three games can be heard on the LA Kings Audio Network with Nick Nickson and Daryl Evans. The game next Wednesday night in Vancouver will be broadcast on NBCSN.
McLellan, who was hired on April 16 and is the 29th head coach in club history, has 11 seasons of head coaching experience with Edmonton and San Jose. He enters the season with a career record of 434-282-90 and is 11th among active coaches in wins and 33rd all-time.
Video: Jim Fox sits down with Head Coach Todd McLellan
The Kings will open the season with four rookies on the roster, including Tobias Bjornfot who is set to make his NHL debut after being selected in the first round (22nd overall) in the 2019 NHL Draft. Carl Grundstrom , Blake Lizotte and Matt Roy all played at least one game last season and are still rookies.
Bjornfot is the second youngest player playing in the league right now (18 years, 182 days as of Oct. 5). He will become the fifth youngest King to ever appear in a game for the franchise and will be the 38th player in franchise history to debut in the same season he was drafted, and the 34th of those to debut on opening night.
Video: Getting to know a little more about Tobias Bjornfot
Bjornfot is also just one of five players drafted this year, and the latest draft pick to make the team (also one of just two defensemen to make their respective teams). Jack Hughes (NJD, 1st overall), Kaapo Kakko (NYR, 2nd overall), Kirby Dach (CHI, 3rd overall; on injured/non-roster list) and Ville Heinola (WPG, 20th overall) are the other four 2019 draftees to make their teams' opening night rosters.
The Kings will be led by several key veterans who are approaching notable milestones.
Team captain Anze Kopitar is on-pace this year to enter the top 3 on the Kings all-time games played list as he begins his 14th season with the franchise. He is also due to become the fifth player in Kings history to reach the 900-point plateau with the team.
Dustin Brown , who is entering his 16th season and is the all-time leader in games played for the Kings with 1,117, will tie Dave Taylor's franchise record for games played overall (regular season and playoffs) with 1,203 games. Taylor appeared in 1,111 regular season games and 92 playoff contests. Dave Taylor's 17 seasons is the most in Kings history, and Brown joins him and Mark Hardy (15 seasons) as the only three Kings to play for 15 years with the franchise.
Jeff Carter is 20 games away from his 1,000th NHL game and 500th as a King.
Drew Doughty is set to play in his 12th season in the NHL, surpassing Mattias Norstrom (11 seasons with the Kings) for the second longest tenured Kings defenseman.
Already one of the most decorated American goaltenders of all-time, Jonathan Quick could catch long-time Rangers netminder Mike Richter in the games played category this season, as he is just 64 games behind him. Quick already leads Kings goalies all-time in most categories.
The Kings full 23-man roster is available here.
Be at STAPLES Center for the Kings' first home game against the Nashville Predators on October 12!