Daily News Quinton Byfield taking advantage of size and speed to spark Kings


They see me rollin'. They hatin'.
Staff member
Jul 28, 2004
Until very recently, doubtful queries abounded when it came to Quinton Byfield and his lack of tangible production, but of late, “Q” has provided the “A.”

He is on track to shatter his career-best campaign of 22 points and he augmented his total with a goal that unleashed a deluge of scoring Saturday. Byfield’s power-play marker was the Kings’ first of two tallies in 19 seconds and four overall in the first period of a 5-1 romp over the St. Louis Blues.

Finally having built momentum at home, the Kings will hit the road, where they’ve been perfect thus far, heading to Arizona for a showdown with the Coyotes Monday. They held on against Florida Thursday and blew the doors off Crypto.com Arena versus St. Louis in the first period Saturday.

At this point last season, Byfield had 15 points in 16 games –– in the minors. This year, he’s got a nearly identical 14 points in 16 contests, excelling not only at the NHL level but on the Kings’ top line alongside captain Anze Kopitar and Adrian Kempe, who are tied for the team lead in goals with eight apiece.

“All my life, I’ve been a points guy, a producer and always wanted the puck on my stick. I tried to get back to that,” Byfield said. “I came in with a different mindset this year, trying to be more assertive, get to my spots and make the right plays. I think my confidence is really high right now.”

Byfield has been prospering at left wing but was drafted as a center, the position he played in junior for the Sudbury Wolves and the Canadian national team. The Kings have the luxury of continuing to align Byfield on the flank in no small part because of their offseason acquisition of Pierre-Luc Dubois, who skirted an injury scare Thursday to score a goal Saturday. Dubois, like Byfield, was a top-three draft selection with prototypical size and expectations galore.

“Every time I’d played against him, I’d seen he could be a really good player. When the production is there it helps his confidence and it’s kind of like the icing on the cake,” Dubois said.

Byfield’s size is readily apparent and now that he’s managing to get deeper into progressions so too is his uncommonly soft touch. What’s come to the fore increasingly is his top-end speed, which he has used more effectively. Byfield has been tracked by the NHL’s “EDGE” data system as being ever-so-slightly faster than that of Edmonton’s Connor McDavid.

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“He’s tough to play against when he gets that speed in the neutral zone. He [also] protects the puck along the wall and can spin off guys and make plays,” Dubois said. “Players like that are pretty rare in this league and once he puts all the pieces together he’s going to be a hell of a player for a long time.”

In Arizona, Byfield and company will face a budding core that’s a bit behind their own but nevertheless promising. Clayton Keller has entered his prime and is averaging a point per game this season and former King Sean Durzi, offloaded to Arizona in the scramble to acquire Dubois, has led their attack from the back end with a dozen points. The Coyotes have allowed 11 goals in two losses to the Kings already this season. They fell 6-3 on the road and 5-4 in the desert as the Kings surmounted a three-goal deficit after digging themselves a deep hole in the first nine minutes of the match.

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