LA Kings: Tyler Toffoli thought he “would be a King for life”

LA Kings (Mandatory Credit: Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports)
LA Kings (Mandatory Credit: Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports) /

Former LA Kings forward Tyler Toffoli opened up about his time in Los Angeles in a recent column for the Player’s Tribune.

Former LA Kings forward Tyler Toffoli recently posted in the Player’s Tribune, recapping his time in Los Angeles, winning the Stanley Cup at age 22, being traded, and ending up in Montreal. If you haven’t had a chance to read it, I highly encourage you to do so.

Toffoli, 29, was drafted by the Kings in the second round of the 2010 NHL Entry Draft and debuted in the 2012-2013 season. He transitioned into a full-time player during the 13-14 season, tallying 17 goals and 29 assists in 62 games. In the postseason, Toffoli played in all 26 games, accumulating seven goals and 14 points en route to the LA Kings’ second Stanley Cup in three seasons.

Reaching the pinnacle in his first full NHL season, Toffoli admitted that he expected the winning to continue well beyond 2014.

“I took how truly hard it is to win a Cup for granted,” he noted. “I just thought that winning would come naturally after that. I tried not to think that way, of course, and it’s not like I didn’t give my all every time we made the playoffs. But we never won it again, and I’m a different person now than the kid riding down Figueroa with the Cup beside him — I’ve grown a lot because of those losses in the playoffs. I’m a better player today than I was back then.”

Toffoli was traded to Vancouver on February 17, 2020, two days after he tallied a hat trick in the Kings 3-1 victory over the Avalanche in the outdoor game in Colorado Springs. The Kings received a return of former second-rounder Tyler Madden, a second-round pick in the 2020 Draft, and a conditional pick in the 2022 NHL Draft.

After the trade, Toffoli scored six goals and 10 points in 10 games before the 19-20 season was prematurely shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic. A free agent after the year, Toffoli signed a lucrative deal with the Montreal Canadiens, and it’s been a perfect fit for the former LA King, as he scored 28 goals with 16 assists for the playoff-bound Habs.

In the end, the Toffoli trade worked out for both sides. With the Kings still in rebuild mode, the 29-year-old wouldn’t have put up the kind of numbers he did this season if he was still in Los Angeles. And the second-round pick in 2020? That player turned out to be defenseman Brock Faber, who looks to have a bright future and will be part of the next great Kings team.

While he experienced success in his first season with Montreal, Toffoli admitted that he never expected to be traded from the LA Kings.

Related Story. Faber to Prepare “Like a Tiger” for Next Season. light

“I always thought I would be a King for life,” he said.

“The organization really raised me, and I owe a lot to the leadership group, both on the ice and in the front office. I look back on those good teams we had, and I think that what made me really love being a King was the attitude we had in the room.”