It was an exciting night as Quinton Byfield took the ice for the first time in his NHL career when the LA Kings hosted the Anaheim Ducks.
After being selected by the Kings second overall in the 2020 Draft, Byfield began the season with the Ontario Reign and has since ranked second in scoring, tallying eight goals in 30 games for the Kings affiliate.
"It's definitely a big exciting day," Byfield said, who had been fielding calls from family and friends before the game. "I knew I had a lot of support behind me and just wanted to go into the game with confidence."
Byfield was the sixth youngest player to make his career debut for the Kings, behind Aki Berg, Jimmy Carson, Brayden Schenn, Doug Smith and Tobias Bjornfot.
He started off his career in style, dressing in the LA Kings and Undefeated collab jersey (with no bucket, no less) before putting on a '90s Era Heritage Jersey.
Byfield centered Adrian Kempe and Trevor Moore, using his bigger stature and nifty hands to create opportunities. Not only were fans impressed with his play, but he earned some praise from Head Coach Todd McLellan.
"I thought he contributed to a lot of offensive chances. He was good in the circle, he had a pretty good idea and understanding of the structure and how we wanted to play. Overall, definitely a passing grade for him, he was probably one of our better players."
"He earned the opportunity as the game went on, as I said he was one of the better players. If we didn't trust him, and we didn't feel good putting him on the ice, we wouldn't have," McLellan said. "I think his minutes, and the opportunity he got reflects his play, and hopefully we can grow on that."