Welcome to the NHL Buzz. Throughout the 2020-21 season, NHL.com will have you covered with the latest news.
Los Angeles Kings
Quinton Byfield could make his NHL debut against the Anaheim Ducks on Wednesday (10 p.m. ET; BSW, KDOC, BSW+, NHL.TV).
“Everything is up in the air, nothing is guaranteed here so I was just trying to stay focused on the task,” Byfield said after practice Tuesday.
The center, who was the No. 2 pick in the 2020 NHL Draft, practiced with the top six forward group.
“I think we all know what he can bring,” forward Dustin Brown told LA Kings Insider. “He seems to be doing very well at the AHL level, so hopefully he gets in a game here and I think there’s just a lot of excitement around him.”
Byfield has scored 20 points (eight goals, 12 assists) in 30 games with Ontario of the American Hockey League this season.
“The first half of the season, I wasn’t the greatest player but I kind of just got more comfortable, more confidence and started to develop so I think it helped me quite a bit over there,” Byfield said.
Adam Boqvist is out for the season with a broken right wrist.
The defenseman was injured when he was hit by Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Erik Cernak 5:03 into the second period of a 7-4 loss on Tuesday. He scored 16 points (two goals, 14 assists) in 35 games with this season.
Boqvist missed 11 games from Jan. 26-Feb. 15 because of NHL COVID-19 protocol and three games from April 15-19 while in concussion protocol.
“I do think that he’s improved,” Blackhawks coach Jeremy Colliton said Tuesday. “Certainly, it’s been unfortunate that his momentum has been stopped a few times by having him miss time when he’s been rolling and playing well. But that’s part of his development as well into a pro, finding a way to be a bit more durable and play more games. But he’s improved away from the puck, his confidence on the puck, and I like the direction he’s headed. Just unfortunate he’s going to miss some games here.”
The Blackhawks (22-21-5) are sixth in the eight-team Discover Central Division, seven points behind the fourth-place Nashville Predators. The top four teams qualify for the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Chicago hosts the Florida Panthers on Thursday (8 p.m. ET; NBCSN, NBCSCH, NHL.TV). — Tracey Myers