Oct. 6 (UPI) -- Los Angeles Kings rookie forward Quinton Byfield, a highly touted prospect already being mentioned as a candidate to win the Calder Trophy, is out indefinitely due to an ankle injury.
The Kings said in a statement Wednesday that Byfield suffered a left ankle fracture during Tuesday's preseason game against the Arizona Coyotes. The team placed him on injured reserve, saying he'll be re-evaluated in the coming weeks.
The 19-year-old Byfield, who was the No. 2 overall pick in the 2020 NHL Draft, was injured in the third period of the Kings' 4-1 loss to the Coyotes. He hit the corner boards awkwardly after colliding with Coyotes winger Christian Fischer.
Byfield was unable to put any weight on his injured left leg as he was helped off the ice.
"It was a clean hit. It was unfortunate," Kings head coach Todd McLellan said. "He went into the boards, one skate went one way and one the other. It's in a corner; if it is in a straightaway, he would have got away with rolling off. But there was nowhere to go, not a dirty hit."
Byfield appeared to have a solid chance to lock up the fourth-line center job going into the Kings' season opener against the Vegas Golden Knights next week. Los Angeles is scheduled to open its 2021-22 NHL season against Vegas on Oct. 14.
Byfield spent a majority of last season with the Ontario Reign of the American Hockey League, but he did play in six games for the Kings, recording one assist.