A Glance Into The Future

Adam Gushansky had so much fun writing his first article, he decided to come back for more. Good thing too, since apparently I forgot how to write. No, wait, that’s not it. There’s no hockey. Therefore, no writing. Oh sure, Jon Rosen is giving it the old college try with the world’s most drawn out player evaluations ever. It’s so damn boring over the summer that the most exciting thing to happen at the Insider is a zazz-ly facelift. The Big Mouth is plugging away here and there, letting us all get a quick glimpse into his daily and oft-commercial break inspired psychosis. I’m sure the Mayor is still interviewing players about their ipod playlists and if I were inclined to unscrupulously murder a few minutes of my time I’m sure I could find Half a new photoshop album I could use to reminisce with my sense of humor that I left behind in the 3rd grade. But no, I haven’t been reading, haven’t been writing. We’re Cup champs now and unrequited love can blow me, hockey.

Adam, on the other hand, is going a little stir crazy with the lack of puck. So, thanks to him, you fellow seat-jigglers have something to read. Surly, out.

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It’s August – the worst month of a hockey fan’s year. Hockey ops is dormant, trades and signings are few and far between, and training camp is a faint four weeks away.

Now is a good time to look at organizational depth – namely, our prospects. Every year, a guy like Slava Voynov or Tyler Toffoli seemingly comes out of nowhere and has a tremendous impact on our Kings. And while some are in awe upon learning about these guys the first time they get called up, many of us saw that day coming months – even years – in advance. Let’s take a look at some of the players we’ll likely see donning Kings jerseys in the near and distant future.

So, without further ado, here are my top ten L.A. Kings prospects.

  1. Tyler Toffoli, RW, 2nd Round 2010

An obvious choice. Anyone with a pulse should tell you Tyler Toffoli is the Kings’ best prospect. This guy is the complete package – high-end skill with an accurate and powerful shot, well-above average hockey IQ, and defensively responsible to boot. There’s really not much to say here. He’s a near lock to make the team this year, and whether he starts in a top-six or bottom-six role, he’ll find himself in the former before long.

Dean Lombardi and his scouting team can give themselves a pat on the back for finding this gem in the second round.

2. Tanner Pearson, LW, 1st Round 2012

Having been passed over in the draft twice before the Kings finally selected him, Tanner Pearson has a chip on his shoulder. He has size and good hands, which he uses well to make plays in tight spaces. His inaugural season in Manchester was marred by injuries late, but he was consistent and complemented Tyler Toffoli and Linden Vey well on the first line.

On a Cup-contending team, I see a mature Pearson as a second/third line tweener with grit and a scoring touch. With the logjam the Kings have at forward, it’s unlikely Pearson makes the team out of the camp. But if an injury pops up or Darryl Sutter decides he’s not getting enough production from the left side, watch out for Tanner Pearson.

3. Linden Vey, C, 4th Round 2009

With all the attention that surrounds Tyler Toffoli and Tanner Pearson, Linden Vey is the unsung hero of the bunch. His stock has risen ever since his breakout 116-point campaign in the WHL two years ago. He nearly led Manchester in scoring as a rookie, and was fifth in the entire AHL in scoring this year.

A playmaker by nature, Vey has a great shot that he probably doesn’t use enough. His potential is that of a second- or third-line center. Like his counterpart Tanner Pearson, Linden Vey will likely fall victim to the Kings’ depth and won’t make the team out of camp. But he’s knocking on the door. And when that door finally opens, expect Vey to be Jarret Stoll’s eventual successor as third line center.

4. Valentin Zykov, RW/LW, 2nd Round 2013

For a guy who just made the transition this season to the CHL from Russia, one can’t help but come away damn impressed by Zykov’s 40-goal, 75-point season in Baie-Comeau. By all means, he’s raw, but this guy just screams potential.

Says Kevin Forbes from Hockey’s Future: “A complete player, it could be argued that perhaps no draft eligible player in the league is as dangerous in close as Zykov.”

The guy is already built like a tank at 6’ 200 pounds and, though you won’t see him in a Kings sweater for at least three years, he’s a guy to keep a close eye on. First line potential.

5. Andy Andreoff, C/LW, 3rd Round 2011

Here’s where I go a little off the board. For a team with such great organizational depth, how can a prospect whose ceiling is that of a bottom-six forward be a top-five prospect? Meet Andy Andreoff.

In hockey-speak, Andy is best described, succinctly, as a BAMF. Bad-ass mother fucker. He lays it all out on the ice, delivers punishing hits left and right, and has that swagger that makes opposing teams hate his guts. And he does this all with consistency.

Furthermore, he can play center and left wing (and did both a lot this year in Manchester) and has been rounding out his offensive game. If you’ve ever dreamed about the prospect (no pun intended) of having a Chris Neil or Andrew Shaw type player on the Kings, Andreoff is your guy. A glorified utility man.

Expect to see him in a Kings uniform as early as this year.

6. Kevin Gravel, D, 5th Round 2010

A fifth-round pick in 2010 who has yet to play a game in the pros is the Kings’ best d-man prospect and sixth on my list. Kevin Gravel, who is entering his senior year at St. Cloud State, is what you want from a defensive defenseman prospect.

Standing at 6’4” and over 200 pounds, Gravel is agile for his size, has above average hockey IQ, and carries a mean streak. After a successful junior year, Dean Lombardi and staff were disappointed – although probably not surprised – that Gravel opted not to turn pro.

Upon completing his senior year, Gravel will likely join Manchester and spend a year or two there before making the jump to the NHL. With Willie Mitchell and Robyn Regehr not getting any younger, Kevin Gravel might just be what the doctor ordered for the Kings. In my opinion, he’s our most underrated prospect.

7. Derek Forbort, D, 1st Round 2010

Oh, how the mighty have fallen. A once highly touted mid-first-round pick has dropped to #7 on my list. Starting with the good, Derek Forbort is an imposing figure at 6’5” and is as good as any prospect using his long stick to break up plays. He signed an ELC at the end of his junior year at North Dakota and joined the Monarchs, which by all counts is best for his development.

The bad: he’s not overly physical, and his offensive game hasn’t developed as planned. But time is on his side. This is a pivotal year for Derek. No more excuses; he has to show he can play with the big boys. I’m a little more skeptical about him than others, but he has all the tools to prove me wrong. At this point, his potential is that of a second-pairing defensive defenseman.

8. Nick Shore, C, 3rd Round 2011

Add this guy to the list of possible Jarret Stoll replacements down the line. A playmaker and nice complete package, Nick Shore was relied upon to do the heavy lifting over at the U. of Denver his junior year.

He perhaps didn’t live up to expectations and his production took a dive near the end of the season, but Nick is a promising prospect who is entering his first full season as a pro.

Consistency is his biggest issue, but the tools are there. He’ll probably need two years in Manchester before he’s ready, but he’s is well worth the wait. A potential third-line center.

9. Michael Mersch, RW, 4th Round 2011

It can be argued that no Kings prospect has taken a bigger step in his development this past year than Michael Mersch.

A guy who was expected to be no more than a bottom-six grinder, Mersch exploded his junior year, nearly doubling his goal output from 14 to 23, and leading the Wisconsin Badgers on their late unprecedented run to the Tournament. And by leading, he was a one-man show.

Mersch will return to Wisconsin for his senior year before making the jump to the pro game. Keep a close eye on this kid.

10. Martin Jones, G, Undrafted

When news came out that Ben Scrivens was part of the package in the Jonathan Bernier deal, hope of Martin Jones supplanting Bernier as the Kings backup was lost.

I think Jones is right on track in his development.

An undrafted goalie, Martin Jones has spent the last three years in Manchester, and it’s been a bumpy road. After recording a .924 save percentage his rookie year, Jones tooka step back the following season,

He had steadily improved since then.

In fact, after a terrible start to this past year, Jones played practically every game down the stretch – partly because of an injury to backup Peter Mannino, but also because of his stellar play – and bolstered a depleted Monarchs team into the playoffs.

The story with Jones is simple. He’s got all the tools – size, athleticism, good positioning – but he’s too inconsistent.

Like many goalies his age, Jones’ biggest obstacle is himself. He has to learn to put bad goals behind him and play as if it’s a 0-0 game at all times. This is easier said than done, of course, but Jones is on the right trajectory.

Ben Scrivens is on the last year of his contract, and the Kings seem keen on Jones as the long-term backup for Jonathan Quick. For Martin Jones, the key word, is patience.

Honorable Mentions:

Nikolai Prokhorkin, LW/RW, 4th Round 2012

Had there not been a contract dispute early on in the season and he played out the year in Manchester, there’s a good chance Nikolai Prokhorkin would have found himself as high as #5 on this list. But the concern is a real one.

Prokhorkin is slated to play two more years in the KHL before he makes his way back over. And until that happens, I can’t consider him a top ten prospect.

Nicolas Deslauriers, D, 3rd Round 2009

I’m not shy to admit it: I’m not a fan of Nic Deslauriers. He’s a perfect example of a guy with all tools but no toolbox. Too often he tries to do too much, and pinches in at the wrong times. His plus- was a team-worst -14 last year, and although he took a step in the right direction by simplifying his game, he’s nowhere close to NHL-ready at this time. I’m skeptical.

Brandon Kozun, RW, 7th Round 2009

One can’t help but root for a guy like Brandon Kozun. A seventh-round pick in 2009, Kozun has worked his tail off and become a weapon for the Manchester Monarchs, scoring at least 20 goals each of his three years.

Size is obviously a concern, but his tenacity and propensity for physical play make up for the fact. It’s not clear how much room there is for growth, but nevertheless, this year is Kozun’s chance. Should a winger go down early on for the Kings, expect Kozun to receive a long-overdue call-up.



Categories: L.A. Kings News

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40 replies

  1. Great blog man, well written.

    I honestly think a lot of these guys are ready, and I also think the transition to the NHL for a lot of these AHL guys is overblown, at least on a good team like the Kings where they’ll have help.

    Just like at Krug last postseason. Boston didn’t think he was NHL ready, thought of as just an AHL player, and he only got a chance because of injury. But when he got a chance, he showed he was actually a good player, even by NHL standards. So I think in general teams are way too conservative and they don’t give their prospects enough credit at all.

    What that in mind…

    I’m not saying he’ll put up points, but Derek Forbort can play in the NHL. He’s 6’5″, he skates well, his hockey sense doesn’t suck… he can play. There’s no way he’s going to be worse than Ellerby, for example, and his ceiling is much higher if he breaks out.

    Tanner Pearson… whether he’s ready to actually be a good 1st round pick top six type of player in the NHL or not, hard to say and it depends how much he improves in the offseason. However, is he defensively responsible? Yes. Is he way more offensively talented than Colin Fraser? Yes. Therefore, he should be given Colin Fraser’s spot at minimum. So sick of Colin Fraser get rid of him please.

    Linden Vey… I think he’s the most ready probably. If you look at the Monarchs last season, Vey was right up there with Toffoli. Why is Toffoli viewed like the second coming but Vey isn’t ready for the NHL? It’s bs to me. Vey is ready. Give him a chance. Kozun deserves a chance too.

    Also you’re right, at this point it would be hard to rank anyone ahead of Toffoli just because he’s had the most success and he appears a very safe pick right now, but if you were to rank them according to potential, I’m not sure I wouldn’t put Zykov #1. The dude just seems, similar to Toffoli, like the whole package. What exactly is missing? Obviously he needs to get faster and stronger because he’s young, but from a talent perspective, he seems like the total package (to an extent. Not like Evgeni Malkin whole package in the sense of being supernatural at everything, but whole package in terms of being at least “good” at everything with no weaknesses). And you know what, Brandon Saad basically made the Blackhawks his first season, as a 2nd round pick. Ryan O’Reilly did too. Well, we need a left wing, and I honestly want to see Zykov given a shot, too. I don’t like this attitude of “he won’t play for at least three years.” Why? This is our window to win. If he’s not ready this year, which he probably won’t be, fine. But when he’s ready, I want him to play. I hate having this like minimum amount of development years where even if we drafted Sidney Crosby, Dean would make him play four years in the AHL because he didn’t want to risk rushing him, and it’s what Detroit does, and look what happened with Jonathan Bernier… Everyone is different.

    In any case, Toffoli is obvious, but after that, I’d like to see a couple of Vey, Pearson, Kozun, Zykov,or Kitsyn on the team next year on offense. Speaking of Kitsyn where do you rank him? And on defense, I want to see Forbort given a shot. Like i said, teams are too conservative. Some players just don’t show you everything they can do until you give them a shot in the NHL. I mean Dean didn’t even think Tyler Myers had what it takes, so how can we be sure he’s right about Forbort now? The dude is 6’5, really good skater… that combination doesn’t grow on trees. With those tools, all he has to do is play smart defensively and move the puck effectively, and he will be a valuable player, like Willie Mitchell. So I want to see him given a chance.

    • You want all these guys given a shot, but don’t indicate who spot they take. Also, a guy like Tanner makes more than a guy like Nolan. You have to take cap space into account.
      One of the beautiful things about having a winning team with really good depth throughout the organization is that you don’t have to rush anyone. Why do you want to promote a guy like Forbort that basically hasn’t shown consistency at the lower level? Why reward that? I don’t mind a guy like Vey given a shot. He has proven himself at the AHL level and only has to prove that he can do the same in the NHL. Forbort’s inconsistency is basically the reason DL went out and signed some of these fringe NHLers or journeymen D-men. He needed options, so as to not have his hand forced into playing a guy like Forbort. None of them will wow us, but between all of them somebody has to step it up and come through for us. Forbort is and was in the mix. He just has to prove he has what it takes. And do it consistently.

      • Don’t think in his most optimistic time, Dean expected Forbort to be ready by now. He was a 4 year project at the earliest when drafted.

      • It sort funny that you seem to hate Ellerby but have this love for Forbort. Go back and look at Ellerby’s resume and make-up.
        Then note that Ellerby was rushed to the NHL before he was ready and has been labeled a flop ever since.

    • Nice post.

      I do think the Kings have done a good job developing their prospects and that a few are NHL-ready. It’s unfortunate they’ll fall victim to depth, but let’s remember the projected lineup is a utopian one. Guys will get injured, and, considering the Kings will carry one spare forward rather than two to begin the year, it’s practically a guarantee Pearson, Vey and Andreoff, among others, will each get his shot at some point.

      It happened the same exact way with Voynov and Toffoli. They made the most of their opportunities and forced Dean Lombardi’s hand in order to make room on the roster.

      Take it to the bank that will happen at least once this year. For sure with Vey, and maybe one of Andreoff, Kozun, and Pearson.

      Bottom line: depth is a great thing to have.

  2. Or remember Dwight King and Jordan Nolan. No one thought they were ready either and then they turned out to be big upgrades on our NHL team and key players in winning the Cup.

    I can’t believe GMs don’t learn from these things. It’s pretty obvious over and over that there are some really good players in the AHL, and that a lot of these young players are actually ready before you think. But GMs are so overly critical and overly conservative that they hold like one little mistake against these players and just don’t have enough faith in their talent.

    And that’s how you end up with Colin Fraser on your NHL team and Linden Vey or Tanner Pearson with 10x the talent on your AHL team.

  3. Brown – Kopitar – Williams
    King – Richards – Carter
    Frattin – Stoll – Toffoli
    Clifford – Lewis – Vey
    Pearson
    Nolan

    Muzzin – Doughty
    Mitchell – Voynov
    Regehr – Greene
    Forbort

    Something like that is what I might try. Or, really, unless he picks it up, I think it’s time to either move Richards to wing and make Carter the center on that line, or move Richards to third line center, Stoll to 4th, with Carter the 2C. Because last postseason, Richards just didn’t have it physically. Too small, too slow to match up against big western conference top centers. Carter can. So Richards either needs to pick it up in the gym and get his game back, or move to wing or to 3C.

    Brown – Kopitar – Williams
    Frattin – Carter – Toffoli
    King – Richards – Clifford
    Pearson – Stoll – Vey

    Maybe something like that. All I know is if Richards doesn’t improve, he can’t match up against Backes and Thornton and Getzlaf anymore.

  4. “Mayor is still interviewing players about their ipod playlists”
    Ouch! Hahaha

  5. I never know where to respond to the Rambling Rat, because of his 7 posts; so I shall do so here. The two big things you seem to obsess and be mistaken about are: Fraser in the HNL while Vey “toils away” in the AHL, and how the only reason Voynov got his chance was the Johnson trade forced the team to play him. First of all Voynov’s superior play forced the Johnson move (that and the salary cap). It was because the Kings wanted to play Voynov that they were able to move Johnson.

    Secondly, and much more importantly: Fraser in the NHL & Vey in the AHL is the best thing for all involved! If Vey (or any other prospect for that matter) was to take Fraser’s minute’s they would be barely getting any playing time, therefore hurting his ability to develop. Also, the time Vey (or prospect X) would spend in the NHL actually on the ice would be spent back checking and focused on the defense; which would mean their offensive game’s development would remain stagnant. And as much as some hate on Fraser, he is quite good as a 4th line centerman. No matter how much of a perceived improvement one of the Kings’ prospects might offer over Fraser, considering what is really needed from that role and the amount of minutes played in said role the return would be minimum at best (if not a net negative from a developing prospect) while greatly impeding said prospect’s development. Therefore the team would sacrifice a long-term return for a miniscule short-term gain. As you can now clearly see, Fraser on the 4th line over Vey (or any other prospect for that matter) is best for EVERYONE, when considering short and long-term implications.

    • I have to disagree with one thing you said here. You mention that “The best 20 players should be on the Kings roster come playoff time.” No, to win the Cup, you need the 20 players who best fit the roles on the team.

      Linden Vey might be a superior talent to Fraser (or Nolan or King), but he doesn’t bring the right skill set to the lineup that Sutter and Lombardi have envisioned. There is no way I’d play Vey or any of the other current AHLers in the playoffs when there’s a defensive zone faceoff with the game on the line. I would, however, trust Fraser to take that draw. You want someone to go around pounding the opposition’s top players? Nope, not Vey’s skill set either. That would be Nolan or Clifford or Fraser. I have nothing against Vey and hope to see him in the lineup soon, but at the right time and in the right spot.

      In another comment, you mentioned that Forbort should be paired with Doughty. Again, I disagree. There’s a reason that most young D (guys like Doughty excluded) start playing sheltered minutes when they make the NHL. They were dominant in junior, but most of the time it was because they were more talented (or bigger) than their opposition. That no longer happens for them in the NHL. You start them off facing guys like Crosby or Giroux or Datsyuk and they are going to get smoked far more often than not. They need to learn how to adjust to the extra speed and the extra talent that they’ll be facing on a regular basis without getting exposed night after night.

      And, to claim that he might be the 2nd best skater on D does a great disservice to a young Russian that won the fastest skater award just two years ago in the AHL.

  6. Speaking of Forbort, have any of you seen this video?

    It’s hard for me to find actual game footage of him, but that’s the one video I could find that tracks him a little bit in practice that’s actually up to date.

    I was disappointed when I read this guest-blog refer to him saying “how the mighty have fallen,” but after seeing the video, I’m extremely encouraged. This is exactly why I wanted him to get a shot this year even before seeing him play in two years, and this is exactly what I hoped he might look like two years after his impressive WJC performance.

    He’s added so much muscle. Much, much more bulky. Much more grown up. And he’s got those first round talents you just can’t teach. I think a problem I always had with his game is he was a little too lanky with really long legs, which gives him a little more problems with precise footwork than he would normally have because otherwise he’s a really good skater, and that’s still there a little bit, but… he looks really good. He looks ready. Much stronger, really good skater with power, underrated hands. It’s hard to dangle when you use a Willie Mitchell defenseman’s stick like he uses, but his hands would immediately be 3rd best on the defense behind Doughty and Voynov, but probably better than Muzzin.

    So I haven’t seen him play games, and I’m not expecting big point production or anything, but from what I see in that video, provided they give him a shot, I could see him in our top 4 by the end of the year. He looks awesome. This is the partner for Drew Doughty. Perfect partner. Even bigger than him, can match his skating, play defense with his size. Was disappointed reading the blog thoughts on him, but not anymore. And comparing to Ellerby, much better skater I think, better top speed, much longer, better hands.

    The dude is ready. I mean he’s 6’5 and might be the second best skater on our defense today. So he’s the biggest guy, and the second best skater, 3rd best hands… and he doesn’t deserve a shot? Unless he just can’t take hits or his hockey sense sucks, the dude is ready.

  7. Please change the name of this blog, because at the moment, it’s false advertising and it’s throwing me off

    Adam, how do you know about the prospects enough to rank them? Is this based off what you’ve read by others or do you personally watch them play. I ask this question only because I can’t find a format that allows me to watch any of our young guys! If you are able to observe them, how do you do it?

    I plan on going to the Kings-Ducks prospects game just to get a feel for some of our future stars even if I have to pay full charge. I can’t wait!

    • I love going to the prospect games. Always a decent turnout and a rare chance to watch some of the guys.

      The way I follow the prospects depends on the league. I keep pretty close tabs on the Manchester Monarchs. For the majority of their games, I’ll either find a stream or have the audio running in the background. Otherwise, I’ll catch the highlights. Unfortunately, the stream service provided by the AHL via their website is absolute crap and costs an exorbitant amount of money.

      For everything else, it’s a bit of a crapshoot, to be honest. I rely on stats and articles published by the teams and their respective beat writers.

      Your best bet is to try and watch the Monarchs games every now and then, since virtually every Kings prospect has to go through the AHL. Best of luck!

      • Ya, I’ve tried watching those shitty feeds and decided if I can’t identify individual players, why pay the money, right?

        Thanks for getting back to me, though!

        I might get to a few more Reign games this year considering it’s only about 15-20 minutes away from me.

        I guess I’ll have t take your word for it. Don’t let me down Adam! :)

  8. A few problems with the current site:

    1) Why do the newest posts not end up at the bottom? I thought it was just me at work, but apparently I’m not the only one.

    2) MrConcisemice needs to either leave or learn how to not hijack every article. He has literally written more on this blog than Surly or Scribe in the last 3 months. His novellas make Jack Kerouac look like Maxwell Perkins.

    3) More quality content, I realize it is the offseason; but this goes back to the Stanley Cup run and is partially to blame on the lockout. However, even with those factors accounted for content has been few and far between. The only reason I mention quality is to point out I don’t want content for contents sake, e.g. MrConcisemice as a guest blogger. I do not doubt that when the season starts anew, you guys will bring it!

    Thanks to everyone who makes this place fun and a great escape from work. As for MrConcisemice, please have enough respect for Surly, Scribe, and everyone else to realize you are hurting this blog and you need to learn to use 5 words instead of 50. If you cannot do this, please get your own blog. Much like freedom of speech does not allow for yelling “fire” in a crowded theatre, writing 10 page novellas on a blog is not okay. However, “DICK SUCKING MOTHER FUCKING SON A BITCH, CUNT ASS WHORE TWAT” is totally cool!

    • 1. I fixed the commenting issue. No idea what happened and perhaps it was a bug but one of the features got switched and I switched it back.
      2. He is on moderation now, meaning when he posts, it will not show up immediately and Surly and I will see it first. I also deleted all of the comments to his comments that complained about him so this nice article by Alex doesn’t get more hijacked than it already was. The comment section of this article had become unreadable.
      3. Blame Surly. He needs to write more. I don’t know what his deal is…maybe he is masturbating more. Would not surprise me.

    • There’s nothing to write about. This is a dull off-season. I refuse to do, as you put it, content for content’s sake, which is all anything I could say now would be. What’s there to talk about?

      “I hope Toffoli does well and scores 93 goals!”

      Ok.

      “We have too many defensemen, lots of cuts coming in camp”

      Yup.

      “Kopi needs to have a bounce back season”

      Duh.

      Basically all anyone talked about this offseason was how close/over the salary cap we were which has always been a non-issue to me.

      The only interesting things this season have happened with other teams and I haven’t been following those situations all that much.

      When I see a drunken brawl at frozen fury there will be something worth discussing.

  9. Watching replays of the blues/kings all day at work today. Fuck I miss hockey

  10. I got the sense from the little I saw at the draft, and videos I watched after we picked him that Zykov is gonna make the leap sooner rather than later. Top 6 material all the way with him. Toffoli as well. If he can’t make the shift to LW I say move Richards to LW and have Carter center them. That may not have paid off well last season, but if given the time I can’t help but think they’ll work it out. If not, Toffoli seems the obvious trade chip cause he’s the only player that would draw a top 6 LW, that isn’t part of the core yet.

    • When the Kings traded up and picked Zykov, I let out a loud “Yes!” I was actually hoping the Kings would receive a mid-first-round pick in the Bernier trade and select him, but this was even better, haha.

      Sutter tried the Richards-to-LW experiment multiple times last year and it didn’t work. He’s a natural center, and that’s by far his best position.

      Let’s give Toffoli a chance before deeming him potential trade bait. :)

      • I have an article written in my head about the LW position and what I strongly believe will happen. Stay tuned.

      • Toffoli’s potential, his salary; in comparison to what he could bring back as a top 6 LW makes it impossible to see him being traded. Who would the Kings want as a top 6 LW? Someone who is under 1.5M due to the cap, and someone who is proven due to having potential in Toffoli, Pearson, and Frattin. Top of my head that means:??? I can’t think of anyone at that low a cap hit whon is proven, and even if I could the cost would be AT LEAST Toffoli, a 1st rounder, and another quality piece. Toffoli will be given every opportunity to make the adjustment, and will succeed.

        • Good point. Unrealistic anyway. I think DL wants to have more of his picks stick. I also think he’ll give Toffoli as much time as he needs to adjust. He sure seems up to the challenge. He’s Calder eligible next year isn’t he? Wouldn’t shock me at all if he nets 30 or more goals.

  11. http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=430265

    Too bad we already signed Schultz. I would much prefer Murray.

  12. Nick Shore….”a playmaker and a nice package”……..

    ahhhhh, thanks for the locker room report??????

  13. I like how youre so eager to replace stoll. Have you forgotten how clutch stoll has been for us? Vs. Vancouver in 2012? Horrible.

    • I’m not eager to replace him at all. As the name of the article suggests, it’s a glance into the future.

      Jarret Stoll is 31 years old. He has two years remaining on his contract. Look, he means much more to the team than his point totals suggest, but regardless, his play has taken a turn for the worse. Eighteen points in 48 games last season, and one point in 12 games in the playoffs. Sure, we should cut him some slack because of the Raffi Torres hit, but that’s not acceptable for a third-line center.

      Ideally, Stoll is re-signed to a short-term deal once his contract expires to be the fourth-line center. One of Vey or Shore steps up and takes Stoll’s spot on the third line, and we have Kopitar-Richards-Vey/Shore-Stoll down the middle.

      Solid.

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