Newly obtained center Andrei Loktionov was called up to the New Jersey Devils. Since being traded from the Los Angeles Kings last week, the 22-year-old played two games with the club’s AHL affiliate in Albany.
Loktionov confirmed in an interview with reporter Tom Gulitti that he did ask the Kings for a trade since he wasn’t getting a lot of opportunities to play at the NHL level.
“There was no room on the Kings because of Anze Kopitar, Mike Richards and Jarret Stoll,” he explained. “I don’t want to be in the AHL. I want to be in the NHL.”
Apparently, the Kings also tried to make room for Loktionov on the wing, but the center admits to not being comfortable with the switch.
The young Russian was picked 123rd overall by the Kings in the 2008 Entry Draft. He was traded to the Devils for a fifth round pick in this summer’s draft.
Loktionov was called up in response to the team placing Dainius Zubrus on injured reserve with an undisclosed upper body injury.
The team has stated that they do not know how long Zubrus will be sidelined, but general manager Lou Lamoriello said they will know more in the next couple of days.
Zubrus was injured in last week’s win over the New York Rangers and he has not played since. He is currently being treated with medication and surgery has not been ruled out as a possible option.
Loktionov practiced with the team today and he will most likely play at the center position.