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.
It would be a great indicator of where his game is at to see him get a handful of games up with the team but I still see him down on the farm again for the 67's and then get another call up to Manchester for the playoffs like he did this past season.
Of course he is the kind of kid who can simply step up and shock everyone by making a huge stride this summer but other than that I would rather see us take our time. Give him another year.
Always better to let these players ripen on the vine. I don't think Schenn missed anything development-wise by playing in the CHL, the World Junior Tournament, and a dozen or so games with the Monarchs, and a handful with the Kings.
He should have a real good idea now about the level of competition at each level and what it is going to take to be a player in the NHL.
Now if I only had your skill at placing pics in those write ups I would be all set.
I had to wait on a couple of things to post it and will post my Vey thing soon for the same reasons. I also have begun a write up on Deslauriers and have spoken with the kid twice in the last couple of days. He is a real character and one funny guy. I can't wait for him to be a King and if I were the jersey wearing type (with the exception of days that I drink which are less than a few out of the year) I would run out and get my Des jersey today.
If he makes it he will hands down become a fan favorite. All the skills you could ever want, loves to drop the gloves but knows when not to and I have video of him standing behind a ref mimicking his ever move.
Excellent write up, I love the comments from his coach when saying Toffoli is one of those players you look to compare others to. With his sniping and playmaking ability, I'd like to think he can be LA's version of Corey Perry, but I'm not sure if Toffoli is as chippy and agitating as Perry. Another name to think of is Pominville, a consistent 60+ point player with the ability to snipe and make plays.
Toffoli is definitely not 6'2". I met him at a Monarchs game a few weeks ago and he was maybe a couple inches taller than me, and I'm 5'10".
According to his coach he is just a hair under 6'2" but I would call him a solid 6'1" but either way he is taller than average and is in exceptional shape. Now its time to see if he can develop a better core so he can keep up with players at the next level of competition.
Awesome write up. I was stoked about this pick when he was drafted. And I am really excited to see this kid in the purple and black in a year or two. Between him, schenn, vey, deslauries, voynov and forbort, this team is in really great shape for the next decade.
Purple and black? You mean black and white, surely
Awesome write up by the way, should have said it in my first reply but I'll say it now. Are you planning more write ups? You mentioned doing one of Vey, right?
Thanks, I think my write ups always read like amateur hour but I will keep doing them until you guys and girls tell me to stop.
I do have one on Vey but I am waiting for the announcement of his signing before I post it.
I have a less detailed write up on Deslauriers that I am trying to put together now to post next Monday.
He plays with the same spirit that Cliffy has but with twice the talent and from the blue line.
We have loads of gifted young players in our system but it is the guys like Kozun, Clifford, Schenn and Deslauriers that get me the most geeked up.
For my money Deslauriers is the most exciting prospect we have had since DD8 and in some ways just as special. A real old school throwback tuff as nails character blueliner who also has the skills to be a very effective PMD.
It takes both types of players to win a cup (skill/character) and we are loaded.
My write up on Voynov will come in a couple of weeks. I have to go through a few different channels to speak with him so it will take time. My Russian is a little sloppy and I find that talking with the kids in their native tongue whenever possible is always best.
The higher up a player gets inside the org the more guarded people become (and rightly so). Since I am not a media type and only an ancillary hockey person for the most part I am only allowed a certain amount of access. More than some and way less than others so it takes me a little more time to get it all together.
So the rumors about Toffoli's lack of work ethic (especially in the gym) are unsubstantiated?
Some around him would argue unfounded as well.
Me, I don't know. If you talk to the kid he says that he was upset about not getting enough time in the gym last summer. The cause was rumored to be due to have something to do with his hip and that the cause was simple growing pains.
Regardless of rather or not that is the case we will get to see his dedication this coming summer. He is supposed to be spending a big portion of the sumer in Los Angeles working with our trainers. It seems to me like he is being fast tracked in the same manner that Cliffy was but I have been wrong about that before with DL so take it for what it is worth.
You guys will have the ability to know how he is doing before I will, so don't be stingy and let us all know when he shows up and how he is doing.
It's hardly amateur hour. You write in a very concise manner which is enjoyable to read while being informative. I find too many people write overly controversial stuff or in a style that seems like they're just trying to outsmart the reader. Your style is very refreshing.
Slightly off topic at this point but, do you write for any sites or just put up your stuff here? And how would you gain more access?