The Los Angeles Kings have traded Tyler Toffoli to the Vancouver Canucks for winger Tim Schaller, prospect Tyler Madden, a second-round draft pick in 2020 plus a conditional draft pick if Toffoli re-signs (a fourth rounder), per Pierre Lebrun.
The Kings get: A role player and a contract in Schaller. But the key motivation here is Madden, who is a top prospect for Vancouver, as well as that second-round pick.
The Canucks get: a natural goal scorer who never really found that extra gear that everyone feels that he has. Toffoli tallied 31 goals and 58 points in 2015-16 as a 23-year-old. This was following a 49-point season at 22, so you can see why everyone was noticing an upward and trend and loving where it was going. But it didn’t get anywhere. He missed over a month with a lower-body injury at the end of 2016 and although he started 2017-18 well, he hit a wall around the midpoint and managed just 60 points over his next 142 games (35-point pace over nearly two seasons). Set to become a UFA this summer, Toffoli has slowly eked his value back upward over the last couple of months, posting six goals and 16 points in his last 27 games. Not great, but definitely better. And the Kings cashed in their chips as soon as they had value.
Fantasy Players Impacted: Madden, drafted 68th overall in 2018, is the son of former NHLer John Madden. He is having a breakout year in college with 37 points in 27 games for Northeastern University. If he elects to turn pro after this season, he stands at least a chance of making the Kings in the fall. That chance was far more unlikely on the Canucks, who have several other talented prospect forwards just waiting to make a splash. You can read Madden’s fantasy prospect profile here.
The big question here is Toffoli. With the right linemates, he can be (and has been) a 30-goal scorer. With Brock Boeser looking as though he is out for about a month, Toffoli will simply slot into his place on the JT Miller and Elias Pettersson line. Jake Virtanen has been real solid there filling in, but production-wise he has come up short. The second line, with injuries to Micheal Ferland (just announced that he is out for the season), Tyler Motte and Josh Leivo, currently has Zack MacEwen playing with Bo Horvat and Tanner Pearson and that line has been great in terms of driving possession effectively. Virtanen likely bumps MacEwen down to Schaller’s spot. So will Toffoli show great chemistry with Pettersson the way Jason Zucker has with Sidney Crosby? Or will the chemistry be more like David Perron with Crosby – fizzling quickly into disappointment? It’s a coin flip, but fantasy hockey is all about opportunity and right now Toffoli will have a full month of opportunity. If he fails to gain a foothold, Boeser will return and Toffoli will float down the lineup and likely not earn a contract extension.
With Toffoli gone, will Dustin Brown get his spot on the Anze Kopitar line back? Or will the young Martin Frk, owner of the AHL’s hardest shot and who has four points in six games with the Kings, get a better look on a better line? It’s a situation to watch. Another winger with some offensive talent is Trevor Moore. Perhaps Moore gets an audition there as well. Lots to keep an eye on (and react quickly) in Los Angeles over the next week or two.
Fantasy Players this helps, in order
Fantasy Players this hurts, in order