Kings rookie right wing Tyler Toffoli figures to be a healthy scratch down the stretch and into the playoffs. It’s also possible but perhaps unlikely he’ll be returned to Manchester (N.H.) of the American Hockey League. The Kings plan to work with Toffoli to expand his versatility. He’s a right wing playing on a team that’s overloaded with standouts at that position. The Kings are strong at center, too, which means he would be wise to learn to play the left wing, according to coach Darryl Sutter.
“When we brought him up, we weren’t trying to force him into anything,” Sutter said. “Because of the (lockout-compressed) schedule, we need lots of guys. I know going forward with him, the way our positions stack up, he’s going to have to be a more versatile player in terms of position-wise. His primary position is right wing and that’s going to be a tough place for him to play because of Willie (Justin Williams) and Jeff (Carter) ahead of him on right wing. (Trevor) Lewis has a good role on our team, so (Toffoli) is going to have a hard time not being any more than what we are right now.”
So, should we expect to see Toffoli on the left side in the future?
“It’s something I’ve talked to him about,” Sutter said. “He hasn’t played much left wing, but he’s played a lot of center. Usually, good players on kids’ teams play center. So, we’re going to have to have to do some work with him on that this summer and go from there.”
So, should we expect to see Toffoli in the middle in the future?
“He’d have trouble playing center here, wouldn’t he?” Sutter said.