LOS ANGELES - The Los Angeles Kings have sent goaltender Jonathan Bernier back to junior, the NHL club announced Monday.
The 19-year-old had a strong training camp and pre-season and surprised by making the team, starting and winning the first game of the season against Anaheim in London, England. But he has since dropped his next three starts. Overall he's 1-3-0 with a 4.03 goals-against average and .864 save percentage.
He was L.A.'s first choice, 11th overall, in the 2006 NHL entry draft. The move leaves Jason Labarbera and J.S. Aubin in the Kings' net. Aubin was activated from injured reserve Monday.
The Kings also sent forward Brady Murray, 23, to their AHL affiliate in Manchester.
Bernier's demotion is great news for his junior team, Lewiston of the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. It's also good news for Canada's national junior team. Bernier, who starred in the Super Series between Canada and Russia in September, is a candidate to be the starting goalie at the world junior tournament along with Steve Mason of the Ontario Hockey League's London Knights.