While the Los Angeles Kings have finished their rebuilding mode – and successfully, might I add – the future isn’t any less brighter for the silver-and-black.
After selecting him 47th overall in the 2010 Entry Draft, the Kings are expecting big things from Tyler Toffoli and after his performance during his brief time with the big club late last season, the team and their fans have every reason to believe that the youngster has already become an integral part of the Kings family as he hopes to help them capture their second Stanley Cup in three years this coming season.
After being called up from Manchester late last season, Toffoli played in 10 games for the Kings were he scored two goals and added three assists, amassed a +3 rating while averaging 11:58 of ice time per game. He even averaged a couple shots per game which means he was able to score on every tenth shot.
Toffoli’s postseason was just as impressive. In 12 games, the Scarborough, Ontario native scored twice, added four assists, amassed a slightly better rating of +5 and averaged 10:46 of ice time per contest. His 19 total shots in the playoffs even indicated that, like in the regular season, the former Ottawa 67 has the ability to score once every 10 shots – which may not be a jaw-dropping stat but considering last season was his first tour of duty with the big clubs, Tyler Toffoli has every reason to feel good about what he brought to the table in 2013 for the Kings.
Some of Toffoli’s other notable stats in 2013 include 17 postseason hits, three takeaways during the regular season versus just two giveaways and most significantly was his work on the power play.
Of Tyler Toffoli’s five regular season points last season, three of those came on the man-advantage which included a goal. In the playoffs, it was the same story as of Toffoli’s six points, four came on the power play with him, again, scoring once.
It’s unfair – and untrue – to suggest that the future of the Los Angeles Kings falls squarely on the shoulders of Tyler Toffoli. Of course, while the Kings have many different outlets to look to when thinking of their success of tomorrow, Toffoli’s name is right there front-and-center and why wouldn’t it be? While it was only for a brief time, the 6’1, 187-pounder has proven that he can take the sometimes-difficult transition from the AHL to the NHL with a grain of salt and perform as if he never missed a beat.
Having just turned 21 this past April, Tyler Toffoli still has a fair bit of growing to do both mentally and physically.
Having only spent one full season in the AHL with the Manchester Monarchs coupled with general manager Dean Lombardi’s penchant for patience when it comes to his team’s young prospects, there is no guarantee that Toffoli will spend a significant amount of time in Los Angeles this season. With that said, no one at Kings’ training camp should expect the youngster to be content to simply fall back in a spot with the Monarchs.
Since being drafted by the Kings in 2010, Tyler Toffoli has grown a lot in the last three-plus years and better, he has already proven that he can play with the best of them in the NHL.
Whether it’s today, tomorrow or a year from now, Tyler Toffoli has proven that he belongs in Los Angeles on a full-time basis. As a matter of fact, as far as I’m concerned, fans and experts alike should get used to one day soon referring to this youngster as hockey’s answer to Jay Leno or, to an earlier generation, Johnny Carson because, quite frankly, Tyler Toffoli has what it takes prove to everyone on the east coast that he is someone worth staying up late for.