Quinton Byfield goal of the year contender against Columbus Blue Jackets
(Screenshot/ Bally Sports)

Quinto Byfield has officially arrived in his third NHL season.

The young forward scored a jaw-dropping goal for the Los Angeles Kings in their 5-1 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets 5-1 on Tuesday night.

In the first period, Byfield picked up the puck in the neutral zone, turned on the jets with his blistering speed, and proceeded to weave his way through the entire Blue Jackets team before tucking the puck past stunned goalie Elvis Merzlikins.

Check out this goal that looks as if it’s straight out of a videogame:

“I saw I had a lot of speed coming through the neutral zone, so I wanted to use that to my advantage,” said Byfield after the game. “I tried to take it wide on Werenski but he cut me off, so I had to improvise. I somehow managed to kick the puck back to my stick and then it was just instincts taking over from there.”

The dazzling goal brought Kings fans to their feet and made highlight reels across the league. At just 21 years old, the 6’5″ Byfield showed off tantalizing glimpses of the dominating power forward he could become.

Byfield’s phone was understandably blowing up after the highlight-reel tally. A reporter asked Byfield if he had checked his text messages.

“I did just briefly, Byfield said.” Yeah, it’s kind of blowing up right now, which is kind of cool. But, you know, it’s going to take me a little bit to go through that. But, you know, it’s fun. All my friends and family always stay up and watch the games, so it’s like 01:00 there now, so I’m happy about that, and it’s good.”

Byfield’s teammates were also in awe of the goal vs Columbus.

“That was a man’s goal right there,” said teammate Phillip Danault. “He’s such a special talent; you could see him putting it all together on that play. The hands, the edges, the power – he looked like a 10-year veteran out there.”

While Byfield’s goal stole the show, the Kings got strong performances from up and down the lineup. Newly acquired forward Kevin Fiala continued his scoring tear against Columbus, veteran defenseman Drew Doughty contributed with a goal and assist, and goalie Cal Petersen made 33 saves in the winning effort.

The victory is the Kings’ fourth straight and has them firmly entrenched in playoff position out West. Byfield’s emergence as a dominant force down the middle has been a considerable factor during this recent hot streak. The young center now has 18 goals and 42 points on the season, by far the best numbers of his young career.

Fans on social media exploded with reactions to Byfield’s incredible goal:

“That goal by Byfield was straight up disgusting!!!! Future superstar right there.”
“He turned into McDavid on that play! Kid’s got some serious skills.”
“Goal of the year candidate for sure! Byfield just oozes potential.”

If Byfield continues playing at this level, he could form a lethal one-two punch with captain Anze Kopitar and make the Kings a dangerous dark horse come playoff time.

After his dazzling display of talent against Columbus, one thing is clear – Quinton Byfield has arrived as a force to be reckoned with in the NHL.