Rumors Kings Assign Jordan Spence To AHL

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The Kings assigned defenseman Jordan Spence to the AHL’s Ontario Reign on Wednesday, per the league’s transactions log.

Spence, 22, has been a healthy scratch in six out of Los Angeles’ last 10 games. While he’s been effective in a limited role, he’s been surpassed on the depth chart by 2021 eighth-overall pick Brandt Clarke among right-shot defenders.

The 5-foot-10 Australian-born blue-liner has 16 assists in 44 games this year and has remained on the NHL roster since Nov. 11. Selected 95th overall in 2019, Spence is a Canadian and Japanese national and suited up for Canada at the 2019 U18 World Juniors and the 2021 U20 World Juniors.

He’s been one of the best offensive defenders in the AHL since turning pro in 2021, posting 87 points across 102 games with the Reign. His NHL possession numbers have been strong, too, with a career Corsi for percentage at even strength of 57.9 and an expected 8.0 rating across his 74 games dating back to 2021.

That said, Clarke is the higher-ceiling prospect and has generated more offense in his limited role than Spence. It’s a poor numbers game for the latter, who’s not able to push out established top-four defenders Drew Doughty and Matt Roy on the right side.

Given his strong minor-league offensive production, promising possession numbers, age, and right-shot status, Spence should have high value should the Kings leverage him in a trade before deadline day. He’s in the final season of his entry-level contract, which carries an $820K cap hit, and will be an RFA without arbitration rights this summer.

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