Manor Byfield on Moving Back to Center, Laferriere Gets a New Number, and More

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Wrapping up comments from this year’s LA Kings exit interviews, we now turn to young forwards Quinton Byfield and Alex Laferriere.

Both had what easily can be described as breakout seasons, with the former reaching 20 goals and 35 assists for the first time, and the latter being a surprise add to the Opening Night roster.

As attention to turns to the months ahead for both players — in what should be another summer of growth in their ongoing development — each reflected on where they are in their career and what still lies ahead.

One nugget to pass along that didn’t come up during the Q&A session is that Laferriere is expected to switch from No. 78 to 14 for the 2024-25 season. He wore No. 18 at Harvard, a number not available in Los Angeles, as it hangs in the rafters honoring longtime captain Dave Taylor. While in the USHL, Laferriere wore No. 14 for the Des Moines Buccaneers.

As for Byfield, most of the talk centered around (no pun intended) his likely move back to the middle. As we wrote about last week, all signs point to Byfield back to center next season.

“I’m open to anything; wherever I can play and contribute the most, that’s where I want to be. Ultimately, I do want to be a centerman again. Hopefully in the future, I can do that,” said Byfield. “I’ve played that my whole life growing up, so whenever I can go back to that, I feel pretty comfortable in that.”

One other notable answer came when Byfield discussed the slowdown in his offensive production late in the season.

“I ran into an illness,” he shared” I was battling an illness for a while at the end of the year. It was tough. Some of those nights, I was just trying to make it through the game. It’s a part of it, though, you have to play through a lot of stuff and do what you can to help the team.”

Although more details weren’t really discussed, Byfield did miss two consecutive games in late January (at Colorado and St. Louis) for what was reported at the time being due to illness, not injury. Further, as shared in the video below, Byfield later noted this was a situation he’ll “need to deal with” during the offseason.

Back to on-ice related information, the 21-year-old forward just wants to push ahead and become the best version of himself on and off the ice.

“I feel like I’ve always taken strides each year, so next year I definitely want to take even more of a step, elevate my game, be a factor each night. It’s a long season, but most nights I want to be a guy that you can count on for defensive plays and offense,” stated Byfield. “There’s a lot that I can work on, I think. Most of my goals this year were from in tight, so maybe working on the long-range shots, off the rush, creating some separation from the corners. Things like that. Always working on the defensive game [too], just watching videos in the summer, where I was or where I could be.”

Here are the full comments from each player:


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