With all of this talk about the Los Angeles Kings bringing back their entire roster from the team that won the Stanley Cup just a couple of months ago, it’s easy to forget that there’s still some pretty big names in the system that have yet to make an impact at the NHL level.
Of those names, the biggest is forward Tyler Toffoli.
Drafted in the second round by the Kings in 2010, Toffoli hasn’t reached the NHL yet, but is expected to be an offensive force when he does. If his performance with the Ottawa 67’s the past couple of seasons is any indication, that certainly looks to be the case.
Toffoli has been downright dominant in his past few seasons with the 67’s. He jumped from 79 points to 108 from 2009-10 to 2010-11, before finishing with 100 even last year. He’s eclipsed the 50-goal mark for Ottawa in each of the past two years.
Toffoli isn’t the biggest guy on the ice and his skating does leave something to be desired. The latter fact is something that has held him off of the radar for many, even as he stands on the cusp of reaching the highest level.
His defensive game has come a long way, and he’s a hard worker out on the ice. The good seems to far outweigh the bad for Toffoli, especially if he comes close to putting up the type of offensive numbers we’ve seen him reach in the past two years in the OHL.
Toffoli has the potential to be a top tier goal scorer in the NHL, even if his defensive game doesn’t catch up. He has a deadly accurate shot and is going to get his fair share of pucks in the back of the net when he does reach the NHL. But when should we expect him?
The Kings have plenty of forwards on the roster right now. In fact, they probably have too many. Luckily for Toffoli, though, not all of them are offensively competent. If the Kings are starved for offense, or someone goes down with his injury, Toffoli is going to get his shot. However, consistent playing time may have to wait a bit.
ETA: Early 2013