One of the teams that is a confirmed seller this year is the Los Angeles Kings, as they look to rebuild around a new wave of prospects that are close to making an impact at the NHL level. They have already sold off Jack Campbell and Kyle Clifford in a deal with the Toronto Maple Leafs, and now Tyler Toffoli is one of the top rental names in any trade speculation. Today, Frank Seravalli of TSN listed Toffoli at #6 on the latest edition of his Trade Bait board, and explained that even while the Kings’ forward impresses with his recent play, a return might not be exceptional.
’Every team is looking to get bigger, stronger and faster and [Chris] Kreider checks all of those boxes,’ one Eastern Conference executive said Monday. ’Toffoli doesn’t have that speed and power element. He doesn’t play with pace.’
That executive, whose team isn’t in trade talks for Toffoli, said he could see ’a package that looks like a second- and a fourth-round pick that might become a third with a condition’ or ’a second-round pick and a team’s fourth- or fifth-best prospect.’
Toffoli has four goals in his last two games, including a hat trick against the Colorado Avalanche on Saturday. With 18 through 58 games, it looks like he will clearly break the 20-goal mark for the fourth time in his career, and even has an outside shot at getting to 30 once again. For that kind of production one would think the Kings are looking for a little more than a package of mid-round picks, but teams seem less and less willing to part with a first-round selection in a deal for a pure rental.
The 27-year old forward is on the final season of his three-year, $13.8MM deal he signed in 2017 and comes with a $4.6MM cap hit. The Kings have plenty of room to retain if they choose, but can only do it for two more players after retaining $800K on Clifford.
Toffoli, Alec Martinez and Trevor Lewis all appear on the list, but the Kings have several other expiring deals. Derek Forbort, Ben Hutton, Joakim Ryan are all scheduled to become unrestricted free agents.