LA Kings: Todd McLellan didn’t appreciate Trevor Moore enough last year

LA Kings (Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports)
LA Kings (Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports) /

Trevor Moore has been a steady bottom-six forward for the LA Kings this season, and Todd McLellan said the team didn’t appreciate him enough last year.

Prior to Monday’s game, LA Kings head coach Todd McLellan spoke with the media about a few of his players, including Trevor Moore, who is enjoying his first full season with the club.

On Monday, Carrlyn Bathe of Fox Sports West asked McLellan about his thoughts on Moore and how he’s fared this season, especially in recent games, having found more success on the Kings’ fourth line.

“He’s having a real confident year right now,” McLellan emphasized. I think he feels good about being on the ice and in a lot of different situations.”

The Kings head coach went on to admit that, perhaps because more focus was spent on the current pandemic, Moore didn’t get the amount of attention he deserved.

“I will tell you, I think, that player was here last year. We just didn’t appreciate him enough. We didn’t see him enough,” McLellan stated. “We got all focused on the COVID at the end of the year, but a lot of the time he was with us, our team had some success in the win-loss column.”

Coming over from Toronto last February, Moore had an immediate impact. In addition to scoring three goals and two assists in his 15 games for the Kings, the Thousand Oaks native helped his new team go 10-4-1, including seven-straight wins entering the league’s hiatus.

“We had some success on the penalty kill and different special teams, and it created depth,” McLellan added.

After going 6-for-34 on the power play last season upon Moore’s arrival, the Kings have gone 16-for-64 on the man advantage this season thus far. Six of those goals, in fact, have come in the last six games. The Kings’ 25 percent power play efficiency ranks them 11th in the NHL as of Tuesday afternoon.

In 17 games this season, Moore, who turns 26 at the end of March, has two goals and five assists, although both tallies have been scored over the past four games. So, while some may argue that he had a slow start to the season, the University of Denver alum has made up for it lately.

“He’s been a really good player for our team. Let’s put it that way,” McLellan concluded.

When Trevor Moore was acquired from the Maple Leafs last February, it was a bittersweet time for the LA Kings. Parting ways with fan favorites Jack Campbell and longtime King Kyle Clifford wasn’t anything to take lightly. As for Moore, while being a hometown kid was certainly enticing, the jury was still out on him.

Not anymore.

Even when his name doesn’t appear on the scoresheet, Trevor Moore has acclimated himself in Los Angeles enough that he’s more than comfortable helping his team win in multiple ways. Whether it’s making a timely hit or finding an open space to create a scoring opportunity, Moore has made Kings fans, and especially his coach, take notice of what he brings to the table.

At 5-foot-10, he is one of the smaller players on a young Kings team, but the undrafted forward is showing that GM Rob Blake made a smart move in acquiring him last year. There may still be a long way to go in the season, but Trevor Moore has already made the Kings feel confident in his abilities to help take the team to the next level.