Los Angeles Kings Claim Nikita Scherbak Off Waivers

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NEWARK, NJ - MARCH 06: Nikita Scherbak #38 of the Montreal Canadiens skates against the New Jersey Devils at the Prudential Center on March 6, 2018 in Newark, New Jersey. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

On Sunday afternoon, the Los Angeles Kings have claimed Nikita Scherbak off waivers. The former Montreal Canadiens forward was on his way to AHL-affiliate Laval Rocket. He now will report with his new club in LA as soon as possible.

Kings Claim Nikita Scherbak Off Waivers

Los Angeles wasted little time in claiming Nikita Scherbak off of waivers. L.A. was the first team in line in the waiver order. The Canadiens assigned him to Laval after being scratched for the entire duration of his call up.

While he has struggled to crack Montreal’s lineup, he still shows potential. Montreal’s 2014 first round pick has 28 goals and 95 points across 145 games with the Rocket. Despite not being dressed for an NHL game this year, he still has five goals and a pair of assists across 29 games the past two seasons. The young winger will look to build off this promising start and emerge in the big leagues with Los Angeles soon.

What This Means for the Kings

The Kings have been absolutely terrible this year. After being swept in the first round last playoffs, they started the season 9-16-1, last in the league. They surprisingly passed on notable waiver players, Valentin Zykov and Nikita Soshnikov. Their prized free agent signing in Ilya Kovalchuk has been lackluster and out a month due to injury. Now with the Russian winger benched longterm due to injury, another will have an opportunity to step up.

Scherbak had difficulty slotting into the Canadiens bottom six. Thankfully for him, the Kings have plenty of openings. He should get onto the active roster when he can either on the third or fourth line. The Moscow native has a big opportunity with a team looking for any kind of turnaround to their season. He turns only 23 years old on December 30th so while his prospect window is closing, Scherbak still has time to develop. In fact, he could find himself on the second line easily.

Los Angeles’ usual second line right winger, Tyler Toffoli, has mimicked the rest of his team’s performance – poor. Scherbak spent some time briefly on Montreal’s top six lineup so it’s possible. However, the newest King likely has his focus primarily placed on Tuesday’s matchup against the Arizona Coyotes.

NEWARK, NJ – MARCH 06: Nikita Scherbak #38 of the Montreal Canadiens skates against the New Jersey Devils at the Prudential Center on March 6, 2018 in Newark, New Jersey. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

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