Late Monday afternoon the L.A. Kings shipped off 27-year-old winger Tyler Toffoli in a trade to Vancouver. In exchange, the Kings received two players, a draft pick, and a conditional draft pick. So, how could the Islanders have traded for Toffoli?
Around eight o’clock Monday night, the Vancouver Canucks and Los Angeles Kings agreed to a trade sending Tyler Toffoli to Vancouver. Less than an hour later the details became official. Here’s a quick reaction, with thoughts on how the deal may have looked had the Islanders been negotiating with the Kings.
In the trade for Toffoli, the Kings received Tim Schaller, the rights to unsigned prospect Tyler Madden, a 2020 second-round pick, and a conditional fourth-round pick in 2022.
Madden, the aforementioned unsigned prospect, would seem to be the true crown jewel of this deal. Corey Pronman of The Athletic slotted him in the 40th spot on his 2019-20 midseason NHL prospect rankings (subscription required).
For reference, Islanders prospect Oliver Wahlstrom was ranked 20th on the same list.
The second-round pick in this year’s draft is the second-most valuable asset moved in this deal. 2020 is a deep draft class with a lot of talent in the top-ten to twenty.
The conditional fourth round pick in 2022 only takes affect if Toffoli re-signs in Vancouver, and Schaller is a bottom-six or depth forward. Likely he was added to the deal for salary-cap considerations.
So, how would this trade have looked had it been the Islanders negotiating with the Kings? Many fans wanted Toffoli in blue and orange before this year’s trade deadline.
Intra-division trades are unpopular for a reason. The Islanders dealt with this when trading for the Devils’ Andy Greene this weekend. Similarly, the Canucks paid a premium price in trading within their own division. But the Islanders don’t play in the Pacific, so I don’t think the cost would have been as high for Lou as it was for Jim Benning.
It’s reasonable to believe a forward prospect would’ve still been on the table had this been New York instead of Vancouver. A fellow Eyes On Isles contributor, Matt Hawkins, helped me out by putting forth the idea of Ruslan Iskhakov being of similar value to Tyler Madden.
He’s on pace for a very similar age 19 season to Madden’s, he too is playing in the NCAA, and is also unsigned by his draft team. Would Iskhakov, a 2020 second-rounder, and maybe a conditional third in 2022 gotten the deal done? It’s tough to say, really. There are a lot of different factors at play when trying to compare prospect and draft pick value.
Still, the Islanders missing out on Toffoli (if they were in on him at all) feels like a gut punch after another frustrating, low-scoring loss to the Arizona Coyotes on Monday. It will no doubt heighten the fanbase’s frustrations further, and demand for Lou Lamoriello to make an upgrade to the Islanders’ forward corps will grow exponentially.
It’s a tricky situation for Lou right now, so we’ll see what Tuesday, and the rest of the week brings. It seems like Cole Bardreau‘s return to Bridgeport is a sign that offensive reinforcements may finally be on their way. But only time will tell.
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The ball is in Lou Lamoriello’s court. Let’s see what the veteran executive does with it.