JMO, but Clarke isn't really ready for the NHL.
When he comes back from Ontario, I say, send him back to Jrs for 1 last season.
I’m still unsure what Clarkes status is? Has his pro contract kicked in? Can they still send him to the OHL and slide the first year of his rookie deal? I think the kings might just be trying to slow roll sending him back to juniors, in order to keep him around the big club for practice and system work as long as possible before they will finally relent and send them back. Even this AHL conditioning stint is a clever way to get him games at a higher level while still not technically triggering his first year of pro? Or perhaps if it has, their intent is to keep him practicing with the big club, play an nhl game, miss the next five games, send him down to the AHL for a conditioning stint.. and the drag him back up to repeat the process.. Clever way to allow a player to get games in the AHL before he is technically allowed to play in the AHL? Although once the Kings play him in a 10th game, and his pro contract kicks in, are they still not technically allowed to send him to the AHL, even once they’ve committed to triggering his rookie deal? I’m very curious about the particulars regarding that..
Clarke played only 9 games, therefore he's still eligible to be sent back to juniors. They are just prolonging his stay with the pros. Instead of just 9 games with the pros, he will now have 14 + additional training days with the Kings. He could show he can dominate AHL. If that's the case, they might re-think sending him back to Js. It's a pretty smart move.