The Canucks are currently in a battle for the top spot in the Pacific Division, and GM Jim Benning has made a move to bolster their attack.
TSN’s Darren Dreger reports that Vancouver has acquired winger Tyler Toffoli from Los Angeles. The exact return is not yet known, but Fox Sports Midwest’s Andy Strickland notes that it consists of a high draft pick, a prospect and a roster player. TSN’s Bob McKenzie adds that winger Tim Schaller is part of the return for the Kings along with prospect Tyler Madden and a 2020 second-round pick.
The 27-year-old has already matched his point total from last season, following a hat trick against Colorado in the Stadium Series game on Saturday. Through 58 games this season, he has 18 goals and 16 assists. His 34 points ranked third on the Kings.
Vancouver has quietly put together a top-10 offense this season and has a very balanced attack. Toffoli’s addition will give the Canucks seven forwards with at least 16 goals, and not many other teams can contend with that type of depth.
While that certainly bodes well for Vancouver, it may not be the best thing for Toffoli’s free agent fortunes. He’s eligible for unrestricted free agency at the end of the season and will likely be seeking a contract that’s close to his current $4.6M AAV. If he winds up spending time on the third line for the Canucks, that has the potential to hurt his value on the open market.
As for Schaller, his inclusion in the deal is solely to help make the money work. Two years ago, he had a 22-point season with Boston but has failed to reach that mark over his two years in Vancouver combined. Through 51 games this season, he has five goals and one assist, which isn’t a great return on a $1.9M AAV. He’s slated to become an unrestricted free agent this summer.
Madden was a third-round pick of Vancouver (68th overall) back in 2018 but is quickly outperforming his draft stock. He leads Northeastern in scoring in his sophomore season with 19 goals and 18 assists, and his 37 points put him fourth in NCAA scoring. However, he broke his finger over the weekend, which will keep him out for the next month or so. Los Angeles will have two years after this one to sign him and while he may still be a year or two away from turning pro, he is a nice addition to a Kings prospect pool that is quickly being stocked up.
With Toffoli now gone, the focus in Los Angeles will certainly shift toward defenseman Alec Martinez. The 32-year-old is believed to be one of the more sought-after defenders that could move by next week’s trade deadline as he carries a $4M AAV and, unlike many of the players who will be moved between now and then, he’s not a rental player as he is signed through 2020-21.
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