Rookie forwards Linden Vey and Tyler Toffoli are in nearly the same predicament with the Kings. Despite posting some eye-catching statistics with Manchester (N.H.) of the AHL the last few seasons, there simply haven’t been any job openings with the Kings, who have a veteran roster that’s been remarkably stable.
The 22-year-old Vey had a team-leading 67 points (22 goals, 45 assists) in 74 games last season with Manchester, which also was tied for fifth in the AHL. Toffoli, who also is 22, had 51 points (28 goals, 23 assists) in 58 games with Monarchs and then five points, including two goals, 10 games for the Kings.
The third member of their line in Manchester, Tanner Pearson, isn’t likely to get a look this season from the Kings for the simple reason that there’s nowhere to put him, baring a slew of injuries. In fact, Vey and Toffoli are here only because of a foot injury to Jeff Carter and an upper-body injury to Jarret Stoll.
Kings coach Darryl Sutter said he was “trying to put (Vey) in … opportunities to succeed, so we put him on the power play and the penalty-killing, which is what we talked to him about this summer. We’ll make some decisions about who will play (tonight against the Vancouver Canucks).”
Bottom line: it’s unclear if anyone else can make the jump to the Kings. It would seem all but impossible for any young players to crack the Kings’ defense corps. In fact, top defense prospect Alex Roach was recently returned to his junior-level team, the Calgary Hitmen of the Western Hockey League, from Manchester.