Earlier this week I posted a recap of last Sunday’s meeting with Kings GM Dean Lombardi and Assistant GM Ron Hextall.
Now, for views from an independent source, HockeysFuture.com has released their latest rankings of the team’s prospects.
In what should come as no surprise, the player with the biggest jump was Tyler Toffoli. Scoring 50 goals the season after being drafted in the second round of the NHL Draft will do that. He’s having an incredible season for the Ottawa 67′s and is currently in a close race for the OHL scoring lead.
Some of HF’s comments on Toffoli included, “He fell to the Kings in the second round largely due to concerns regarding his skating. With a league-leading 50 goals in 61 games so far this season, it’s safe to say that slow feet or not, Toffoli is proving himself an exceptional sniper.”
They went on to say, “As much as the Kings could use a player with Toffoli’s high-end goal-scoring talent sooner rather than later, he’ll be only 19 when next training camp rolls around. His grit and determination make him a favorite to eventually succeed as a pro, but he’s at least another year away. He has the potential to be a fantastic complementary top-six player.”
Toffoli jumped up from 10th to a new ranking of fourth overall.
[note: His General Manager, Brian Kilrea, answered questions for MayorsManor earlier in the season. For your reference, there is a link to that interview at the end of this article.]
While one kid’s stock is rising, another may be falling.
Thomas Hickey has been a question mark for some since the day he was drafted. A captain on his junior team (Seattle Thunderbirds, WHL) and Team Canada (World Junior Championships), Hickey now is the assistant captain of the Manchester Monarchs (AHL).
Still, big things are expected of players selected fourth overall by an NHL team, causing HF to write “While there’s still a good chance that Hickey ends up an NHLer someday, it’s getting to the point where it’s necessary to temper expectations for the young blueliner.”
Even though they later added “he’s playing in all situations and has been a dependable contributor for the team,” it didn’t stop Hickey from moving down four spots to #9 in the rankings.
The strongest statement was perhaps this – “Hickey will not be a franchise defenseman.”
For the full Hockey’s Future report on Kings prospects click here or check out the interviews with Hickey, Toffoli and others linked below.