Since Dean Lombardi took over as the Kings GM’ back in the spring of 2006, his draft classes have consistently been producing NHL talent. First it was Jonathan Bernier and Trevor Lewis, then Wayne Simmonds and Alec Martinez in 2007, followed by Drew Doughty and Slava Voynov in 2008. Even as recently as the crop from 2009, three players have already made the NHL – Brayden Schenn, Kyle Clifford and Jordan Nolan.
Which brings us to the 2010 NHL Draft in Los Angeles. Lombardi shocked many observers by moving up in the first round to take defenseman Derek Forbort. He also only made four additional picks that day, the fewest during his entire tenure in LA. However, it’s most likely the strongest collective class Lombardi and his scouts have pulled off. While the odds are against them, there’s a realistic possibility that all five picks will make the NHL some day.
Taken in the second round that weekend was 6-foot-1 forward Tyler Toffoli. He was coming off a 37-goal campaign with the Ottawa 67’s. Yet, that was nothing compared to what he was about to do. In the 2010-11 season he posted 57 goals (tops in all of junior hockey) and 108 points. Then, last year he put up another 50-goal/100-point season.
Drafted as a center, his junior hockey GM – the legendary Brian Kilrea – once told MayorsManor he believes Toffoli’s best position might at right wing. Regardless, he’s considered one of the Kings’ top prospects at the moment.
This weekend, he’s officially starting his professional career as a member of the Manchester Monarchs. Toffoli’s been a guest on MayorsManor numerous times over the last few years and he’s back today to talk about the transition he’s making and what lies ahead.
Here we go…
NOTE: If you’re on an ipad or iphone, click here to listen to the show.
If you’ve missed any of our recent shows – featuring guests like Alec Martinez, Colin Fraser and Kevin Westgarth – click here now. Yesterday, new Kings assistant coach Davis Payne also joined us and we covered a lot of ground. Don’t miss him sharing stories about his playing days with Bill Ranford, Mark Hardy, Mark Bavis and others. He also talks about Dustin Penner trying to bribe him. Give it a listen.
Also, for a great look at Kings history, be sure to check out this interview we did with Hall of Famer Brian Kilrea – a member of the first-ever Kings team in 1967 and Toffoli’s coach in Ottawa.