Guy Dulcet, an alias indicative of his kindness and charm, is more than a friend. He is a kindred spirit. Surly & I are fortunate to have him as a contributor and liaison. He gives us access to prospects, their coaches and lets our readers know how future LA Kings’ develop, blossom and bloom. Today, he brings us Tyler Toffoli and an interview with his coach, Chris Byrne.
Tyler Toffoli has silenced his critic’s at every level he has played. He took several scouts and scouting services to school after his less than stellar ranking in his draft year and has now established himself as one of the best young prospects in the game.
He scored 108 points this past season in only 68 games which was good enough to lead the OHL in scoring but in addition scored 57 goals which was also best in the league.
“These guys are my family, from coach on down and I couldn’t do anything without all of them. We all win and lose together and I am lucky enough to be on this team” Said Toffoli at the end of his season with the 67’s.
I asked his head coach Chris Byrne how much more development Tyler needed before he would consider him to be NHL ready and was told “all Tyler needs to do is work on developing his strength and conditioning so that he can compete physically against the bigger stronger competition and he will be set”.
Coach Byrne then added, “This is going to be a big summer for Tyler. If he is able to get stronger and quicker which is possible then who knows? Of course if he doesn’t, I’d be more than happy to get him back here.”
As soon as he is ready Coach Byrne said that Tyler is one of the more complete players that he has seen come through in a long time. “At 6’2″ 185lbs he is a handful to defend but his biggest attributes are in his offensive instincts, his vision , his timing and his exceptional shot”.
I then asked Coach Byrne if he thought that Tyler was likely to develop into a sniper/finisher and he told me that he wouldn’t limit his game to just one area.
“He (TT) has the hands to not only be a great finisher but he also has the vision to be a great passer,” says Byrne. “His offensive game is so complete that he is likely to succeed no matter where you play him”.
Toffoli is a natural right winger but has spent time at center, LW and succeeded everywhere he has played. “I think he (TT) will play wing in the NHL and while he would prefer the right side he plays just as well on the left” Coach Byrne said.
He also added “we experimented with Tyler playing point on the PP and he did a great job there too”.
Toffoli is known to be a leader both on the ice and in the dressing room due to his steady, level nature. “He has come along way during the time that I have known him” said coach Byrne. “He is becoming a man and a good one at that”.
When I asked coach Byrne who he would liken Toffoli to he said “I would have to say that Tyler is his own player, he’s so good that he seems to be one of those guys who other players are compared to, not the other way around”.
Finally he said “the Kings got this one perfectly right and have a great young player on their hands”.
After his jr. season ended he went to play for the Monarchs where he tallied one goal in 6 games.
Where do I see TT next year? I hate to say it but I am one of the few who think that he should spend one more year down on the farm and then another call up for the playoffs.
If he came up this year I have no doubt that he would make it and do pretty well but after having seen a ton of him this past year to me he looks like a kid who is just about to become a superstar and I think that if you rush him you might take a chance at ruining something.
Give him that one more year and we will all be hailing TT as the the next great King kid. He is that good.