|Photo: V. Wutti, Blitzen Photography|
Mark it down now. My pick for a Kings rookie to make the opening night roster is Tyler Toffoli.
Drafted by Los Angeles in the second round of last summer’s NHL Draft, he exploded into the junior hockey headlines this season when he put up 57 goals and 108 points for the Ottawa 67s and ended up as the OHL scoring champion.
While some might think he’d be an obvious pick to join an offensively starved team like the Kings, remember he’s only one year removed from his draft year. Not many kids that young can make the jump so early – not to mention the fact there are several players in Manchester who are probably ahead of him on the depth chart at this point (i.e. Andrei Loktionov, Corey Elkins, Bud Holloway, etc.). However, he appears to have all the skills.
So, will he do it? Is he ready?
The next step in his evaluation comes in just a few weeks when he joins dozens of other prospects at the Kings annual Development Camp.
He was a frequent guest on MayorsManor this season and he joins us again today to share some pre-camp comments…
MM: Let’s start with Manchester. Any thoughts about your time there at the end of the season?
TT: Overall, it was a great experience in Manch. I went in just trying to take it all in and I had a lot of fun. It was good to meet everyone and spend time there.
MM: What have you been doing back home to stay in shape since the season ended?
TT: I’ve been working out with Tony Greco, which has been going really well. I train with Claude Giroux (Flyers) and Jeremy Akeson (former Ottawa 67).
MM: Is there any specific part of your game you’ve been working on?
TT: Well, I feel like I’m getting into really good shape as a whole and I’m also working on my skating with a skating coach.
MM: With Development camp coming up in less than two weeks, what are you most looking forward to this time around?
TT: I’m really excited to come to LA and see if I’ve improved, to see if all the training is helping me and to just keep learning. LA is a great organization and I’m really excited to come to my second development camp.
Barring a significant trade or free agent signing, pencil him at right wing – most likely on the third line. For previous interviews and notes on Toffoli please click one of the links below – or for more information on this year’s Development Camp roster click here.
Interview with GM Brian Kilrea of the Ottawa 67s – Toffoli’s junior team