End of season thoughts from Kings rookie Tyler Toffoli

His pro debut with the Manchester Monarchs, playing in the AHL All Star Game, being named the AHL Rookie of the year, multiple call-ups to the Kings, two goals in the NHL’s regular season, followed by another pair of goals in ten playoff games – plus one of the best nicknames in hockey…it’s been quite the year for 21-year old Tyler Toffoli.

Today, he paused to reflect back on the season that was and discuss what some of the summer may hold…

On playing in the Stanley Cup playoffs:

“I think last year my team went to the Conference Final, and you can tell it’s a totally different experience. To be able to get the opportunity to play in the Stanley Cup playoffs, every kid dreams about it and watches the playoffs growing up. To be able to get the chance to play in the playoffs, the tempo and speed is so physical. It’s tough to lose, but I think we left it all out there.”

On Darryl Sutter saying the next 100 days are critical for him to get stronger:

“I have my meeting with them tomorrow, so I think I’ll hear a lot more, but I know what I have to do. I know what it takes to play in this league now, I got a taste of it. I want to be able to compete every single night and play the best I can every single night and help the team produce wins and get back to the playoffs.”

On how his perception of playing in the NHL has changed from a year ago:

“I don’t know if it’s really changed, I always knew it was going to take a lot of hard work and everything. Just being able to play in games and get the opportunity, it just makes you want to work a lot harder than what I have worked. I mean, I’ve been working really hard since the day I’ve been drafted. But, knowing what it takes to play to compete against the best players in the world in the playoffs, I think you have to be a lot stronger and a lot faster. So I just want to be the best I can and be able to compete.”

On NHL defensemen compared to other leagues:

“I don’t think it’s a difference from the defense to forwards, everybody is just so much stronger and bigger and faster. They finish their checks every time they can. I think that’s the biggest difference from me coming from juniors, I think guys would fly by you or whatever, but here everybody finishes their check because they know the more that they hit you, it gives you bumps and bruises throughout the entire playoffs.”

On if there was a moment that he ‘flipped the switch’ to take his game to the next level:

“No, I just think being more comfortable around the guys and the coaches and everybody just made me feel more comfortable. Like I said, when you get the opportunity to play you want to do the best you can so you can stay in the lineup and earn your ice time. So, I just wanted to be ready to go every time I got the chance and just play my best.”

On playing left wing if the team needed him to:

“I think that’s something that’s up to them. Wherever they put me, I’ll play and play the most I can. We’ll see what they say and we’ll see what happens next season.”

On his success against bigger players along the boards:

“That’s one thing that Dean and everybody really, really told me to get better at. I think just throughout the years I’ve been working on it and it’s a big area that they want you to compete and win every time. That’s what I try to every time I’m out there. If you’re winning puck battles along the boards, you’re going to create offensive chances and I think you can tell, not from myself, but our whole team in general, we win a lot of puck battles on the wall and it creates a lot of goals for.”

Coming into the season we had Toffoli ranked as the top prospect in the entire Kings organization. To see the other nine best prospects, click here.   Also, additional end of season notes and quotes from GM Dean Lombardi and several other Kings players can be found at the links below.

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Sunday media call – comments from Mike Richards

Sunday media call – Lombardi on future contracts for Voynov and/or Scuderi

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