For his tireless efforts this season, the LA Kings players have named Trevor Moore the team’s Unsung Hero for the 2020-21 season.
When he was acquired by the LA Kings in February 2020, fans were excited to be getting a local product on their team. While he is a native of nearby Thousand Oaks, though, Trevor Moore wanted to make it known that his presence with his new team went beyond being the hometown kid. In 2020-21, Moore proved just that as his teammates named him the recipient of this season’s Unsung Hero award.
In just 15 games before the 2019-20 season abruptly ended, Moore made the most of his limited time with the Kings. In those 15 outings, the 26-year-old scored three goals and two assists and even made his mark defensively, earning eight takeaways to his five giveaways.
Entering this season, though, Moore was in no different of a situation than he was as some of his teammates — such as Mikey Anderson and Gabe Vilardi — where he had yet to have a full season with the Kings under his belt. On top of the collective uncertainty surrounding the NHL and their response to COVID-19, Moore knew he wasn’t alone, and perhaps this is partially why he had such a great season.
En route to winning his team’s Unsung Hero honor, played in all of the Kings’ 56 games, scoring 10 goals and 13 assists while averaging 14:32 of ice time.
Following the team’s final practice of the season on Thursday, Moore spoke with the media about being recognized by his teammates.
“It means so much more coming from them,” the 26-year-old said of the Unsung Hero honor. “They see you every day. They’re not judging you every day but for them to be around you all the time and think of me in that way is a huge honor. It’s very humbling and I’m so appreciative of all those guys.”
The University of Denver alum was then asked if he felt that he exceeded his own expectations.
“I don’t know if I exceeded my own expectations,” Moore admitted. “I think that you have to have confidence, otherwise you’re never [going to] be able to push forward. But, I believe that I was able to do it and I just wanted to try to earn that opportunity. So, yeah, I think this season’s gone better than maybe I had hoped or that I thought it could have, but I’m just so grateful for all the opportunities the organization gave me and the roles they put me in. I just think for myself, it was an alright year.”
To suggest that 2021 was “an alright year” only underlines Moore’s vast level of modesty. But, he has nothing to be modest about. After all, his team’s Unsung Hero award wasn’t where the accolades ended for Moore as he was also invited to join Team USA at the upcoming World Championship in Riga, Latvia.
“Yeah, I got a call just a little while ago about if I wanted to go and really a no-brainer for me,” noted the undrafted winger. “It’s such an honor, and to be able to put on the USA jersey is amazing and super cool that we’re gonna have so many guys there on the USA team, and on other teams, so it’ll be fun to be around those guys for a little longer.”
This will be Moore’s first opportunity to represent his native country since 2013 when he participated in the Hlinka Gretzky Cup. In four games in the tournament, Moore scored one goal.
As for his professional club, Moore touched on the season that was and what he looks forward to next season.
“I think that you can see, some nights when we’re on our game we’re a really hard team to play against, and teams don’t like playing against us,” he observed. “So, I think that as time goes on, and those younger guys come in and they get involved in that as we gain more consistency throughout the lineup, I think that we can be that team that is really hard to play against, that can make life hard and can be a threat in this league, for sure.
“I think you’ve seen the younger guys who have come in have really taken a step and they’ve really done well, exceeded expectations, I think. I think that’s important, and for the rest of us, we just have to keep moving forward. But yeah, I think, so far, or overall this year, I think it was a good step in that direction.”
He has quickly become a fan favorite in Los Angeles and very little of that has to do with hailing from the area.
Trevor Moore has taken what has been an unusual season to make the most of his opportunities, to prove that he is a more-than-reliable NHLer who can get the job done.
When he was acquired by the Toronto Maple Leafs in early 2020, Moore came over in a trade that signaled the end of an era for the Kings when they dealt fan favorite Kyle Clifford, along with Jack Campbell in the deal. Of course, while Kings fans will remain to have fond memories of both Clifford and Campbell, Trevor Moore has done his part to help fans become excited for a new era in LA Kings’ history.
For the Thousand Oaks native, it’s so far, so good. So, let us feel confident for the LA Kings entering the 2021-22 campaign, especially when Trevor Moore will be an integral part of the next chapter.