Pratt's Rant – Two game exhibition series with the Kings has little to do with hockey
The Toronto Maple Leafs opened training camp with 73 players on their roster, but it appears the team had hoped to have 74.
According to LA Kings Insider Jon Rosen, the Maple Leafs were interested in signing KHL centre Andrei Loktionov to a professional try-out this summer before the 27-year-old opted to re-join the Los Angeles Kings.
Loktionov, who was fifth-round pick of the Kings in 2008, agreed to join his former team on a PTO in July after three seasons in Russia. He told Rosen familiarity with the franchise helped him make his decision.
“I know a lot of guys, coaching staff, GM and assistant GM Mike Futa. That’s the reason why I came here,” Loktionov said. “…I feel like I’m home, you know, because I was drafted here. I spent five years here, so it’s nice to be back.”
Loktionov made a quick leap to the NHL, playing his first game during the 2009-10 season and appearing 19 games the following season, just two years after being pick 123rd overall.
He scored seven goals and posted 14 points in 59 games with the Kings over his first three seasons while also spending time at the AHL level.
Loktionov was traded to the New Jersey Devils in 2013 and then moved to the Carolina Hurricanes a season later. In total, he scored 15 goals and posted 34 points over 96 games in two seasons. In 2014, Loktionov signed with Yaroslavl Lokomotiv, who played with for the past three years. He scored a career-high 12 goals and added 15 assists in 58 games last season.
The Maple Leafs have a camp competition for the fourth-line centre role, with Dominic Moore believed to be battling rookie Miro Aaltonen for the role.
With the Kings, Loktionov is one of four players on a tryout contract, joining Brooks Laich, Shane Harper and Brandon Prust.