Trade Jim was at it again, and it wasn’t even a Tuesday.
Joining the trend of other general managers getting their work done before the trade deadline, Jim Benning struck a deal with the Los Angeles Kings to acquire Tyler Toffoli from the Los Angeles Kings.
The Canucks gave up prospect Tyler Madden, a 2020 second round pick, a 2022 conditional fourth-round pick and Tim Schaller in the deal.
Toffoli, who turns 28 next month, led the Kings with 18 goals on the season after posting a hat trick against the Colorado Avalanche on Saturday night. He was rumoured to be on the block, but Benning snagged him with a week to go until the trade deadline on February 24th.
Analyzing Toffoli’s fit with the Canucks
The underlying numbers for Toffoli highlight a strong play-driving forward who’s been the victim of bad puck luck.
Tyler Toffoli (traded to Vancouver) is an extremely strong play-driver at 5v5 whose hands have utterly, utterly deserted him. pic.twitter.com/eftMbcr5vQ— Micah Blake McCurdy (@IneffectiveMath) February 18, 2020
Perhaps his luck was beginning to turn prior to the trade. He had a hat trick on the weekend as mentioned previously, and now has six goals in his last nine games.
More importantly, Toffoli had obvious chemistry with Canucks forward Tanner Pearson. The two won a Stanley Cup together in 2014 while playing on one the best lines (with one of the best names) in hockey.
While their on-ice chemistry dwindled as centre Jeff Carter and the Kings fell from grace, they’ll likely be reunited in a top-six role alongside another similar centre in his prime, Bo Horvat.
Horvat’s line has been lacking a right-winger most of the season. Many expected Micheal Ferland to play on one of the top two lines, but his health put that rosterbation idea on hold.
As a right winger and a strong play driver, Toffoli could also find himself on the top line alongside Elias Pettersson and J.T. Miller. That would allow Brock Boeser to slide into a second-line role.
Regardless, this Canucks offence, which is already eighth overall in goals scored, adds another 20-goal scorer without giving up much (sorry Timmy Schallz) off of the roster.
Benning pays the price for an exciting addition
Although the addition of Toffoli is tantalizing, there’s no doubt that Benning paid a steep price to acquire the forward.
Tyler Madden was recently nominated for the Hobey Baker award after his Northeastern team won the Beanpot. He had 37 points in 27 games in NCAA action this year.
The Los Angeles Kings, who already have the deepest prospect pool (although one lacking in star talent), are adding Tyler Madden to it through the Toffoli trade.— Greg Wyshynski (@wyshynski) February 18, 2020
That's, like, unfair.
Standing at 5’11” and 152 pounds (according to Elite Prospects), there was always going to be questions about his size. Of course, the same was said about Pettersson, but Madden is nowhere near the same level as the Canucks superstar.
Benning also gave up a 2020 second round pick in the trade. If the Canucks make the playoffs this season, they won’t have a pick until the third round of this supposedly stacked draft.
This trade will further be throw into question if the Canucks fail to re-sign Toffoli. His $4.6 million per year contract comes off the books this summer. As mentioned in other articles, the Canucks will have about $19 million, with pending free agents Jacob Markstrom, Chris Tanev, Troy Stecher, Jake Virtanen, Josh Leivo, Oscar Fantenberg, and now, Toffoli, to sign.
That’s going to be an interesting situation to watch unfold in the coming months. For now though, it’s going to be all about the playoff chase for the players, for management, and for fans.