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NHL Exec Names Tyler Toffoli as Most Likely to be Traded

One NHL executive says that the most likely player to be moved isn’t Chris Kreider but a forward who’s coming from a seller with a lower asking price.

Chris Kreider has gotten the bulk of the attention in the NHL trade rumor mill since Taylor Hall was moved to the Arizona Coyotes. Rightfully so, as one NHL executive said, “He can fly, he can shoot. He knows where to go. He will hit with some anger. He will play hard. He’s got a bomb. He’s a really good guy.”

But, according to another NHL executive, Kreider might not be the most likely trade piece to move as teams approach the February 24th deadline.

No, that distinction belongs to Tyler Toffoli of the Los Angeles Kings. A top-six forward on a team that is nowhere near the playoffs and almost all but guaranteed to be sellers this season, Toffoli could offer a NHL club a nice option on the wing as a proven scorer with some sandpaper to his game.

What makes Toffoli such a likely trade candidate isn’t necessarily his pedigree or ability to score. There are a few of those types of players available this season. Instead, it;s the awaking price from the Kings that has people buzzing.

In a recent article published by Craig Custance of The Athletic (subscription required), Custance writes that he spoke with a source who claims the kings are asking only for a second-round pick and a prospect. He writes;

One executive said the expected asking price on Toffoli is a second-round pick and a prospect, which might make Toffoli more appealing for teams cringing at the idea of moving a first for a rental. “(It) is pretty reasonable,” he said. “They’ll get it.” It’d be easy to see the Flames inquiring after missing out on Hall.

Related: Maple Leafs Looking At Buy Low Option From Blue Jackets?

Why Such a Low Price Tag For Toffoli?

There will be some debate about Toffoli’s value in the marketplace including how consistent a scorer he can be, but one might have expected the Kings to be searching for a first-round draft pick in return, as team often do for players who can light the lamp. However, the Kings are looking to move bodies and with Toffoli a rental who will be up for free agency, perhaps the hope is to get a bidding war going and that second-round pick turns into a high second-round pick or even a first if enough teams express interest.

As the NHL executive said, The Kings will move Toffoli and, at minimum, they’ll get what they’re asking for. Not a lot of teams can say that with the names they’re making available as they determine what to move and what to keep.

For the Kings, this might be about maximizing the interest, starting a bidding war and ensuring they don’t have to retain salary, even if they are prepared to do so.

Related: How Close Is Dustin Byfuglien to A Return For Jets?

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