On Monday morning, the Calgary Flames announced that they had acquired forward Tyler Toffoli from the Montreal Canadiens. The trade was met with rave reviews, as general manager Brad Treliving did what most viewed as a great job in adding the secondary scoring this lineup needed without taking away anything significant from the current roster.
Toffoli has gotten off to a great start as a Flame, as he was able to score in his very first game with the team against the Columbus Blue Jackets. The 29-year-old is well known for his goal-scoring abilities, having found the back of the net 183 times over the course of his career. There are other things about him, however, that are not as well known by fans. Here are seven of them.
Stanley Cup Champion
Though he appeared in 10 games the season prior, the 2013-14 campaign marked Toffoli’s rookie year in the NHL. While he wasn’t spectacular, he provided some solid secondary offence for the L.A. Kings that season with 12 goals and 29 points in 62 games.
Once the postseason began, Toffoli really began to break out of his shell, recording seven goals and 14 points in 26 games. Finishing fourth on his team for goals during that playoff run, Toffoli played a huge role in helping the Kings secure a Stanley Cup Championship. To this point, it is the only Cup-winning team Toffoli has been a part of, though he came very close as a member of the Canadiens last season.
First Outdoor Game Hat Trick in NHL History
Playing in what was the 30th ever outdoor NHL game, Toffoli netted a hat trick at Falcon Stadium in a game against the Colorado Avalanche in February of 2020. All three goals were of huge importance for the Kings, as they were able to walk away with a 3-1 victory in the Stadium Series.
Just over a year later, Boston Bruins forward David Pastrnak was able to become the second player to achieve the feat, recording a hat trick in a game at Lake Tahoe against the Philadelphia Flyers. While he no longer holds the record, however, he was and will forever be the first player to do so.
AHL Rookie of the Year
Before playing in the NHL, the Kings were already well aware they had a future stud in Toffoli. He not only put up big numbers during his four seasons in the Ontario Hockey League, but he was able to do so in his first and only full American Hockey League season back in 2012-13.
In 58 games that season with the Manchester Monarchs, Toffoli recorded a team-high 28 goals along with 51 points. The great season earned him the Dudley (Red) Garrett Memorial Award, given each year to the AHL’s top rookie. Given his great success, it comes as little surprise that he only spent another 18 games in the AHL before becoming a regular NHLer.
Drafted Into the KHL
Less than a month before being selected in the second round in 2010 by the Kings, Toffoli was taken in another draft; the KHL Draft. He was taken 169th overall by Traktor Chelyabinsk but wasn’t aware of it at the time. It wasn’t until his dad notified him that he became aware of his selection in the KHL. Despite being taken, however, he chose to return to the OHL, where he played an additional two seasons before going pro in 2012-13.
Big Clayton Kershaw Fan
While hockey is obviously Toffoli’s favorite sport, he loves baseball, and it comes as a close second. Having spent so many years in L.A., he quickly took a liking to the Dodgers and was able to witness many star-studded teams over the years.
One of the biggest stars on not only the Dodgers but in all of Major League Baseball is Clayton Kershaw. Toffoli admitted that the three-time Cy Young Award winner is his favorite player in the MLB. One can only imagine how excited he was to see the Dodgers win the World Series back in 2020.
Favorite Player Growing up Was Pavel Datsyuk
While many young Canadian kids would tell you their favorite player growing up was someone like Sidney Crosby, that wasn’t the case for Toffoli. The player he grew up idolizing was a longtime member of the Detroit Red Wings in Pavel Datsyuk.
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Given that Toffoli himself is a skilled forward, you can understand where he’s coming from, given just how much of a treat Datsyuk was to watch during his prime. Toffoli was even able to suit up against his idol on a number of occasions between 2012 and 2016.
Father Is an OHL Scout
Like many, Toffoli’s love for the game of hockey first started from his dad, Rob. Toffoli has spoken on a number of occasions about just how instrumental his dad was to his hockey career, whether it be from practicing with and/or teaching him how to play the game the right way.
As it turns out, his dad is quite knowledgeable when it comes to the game of hockey. He currently serves as the head scout for the Mississauga Steelheads in the OHL, a position he has held for five seasons now. Prior to that role, he also spent time as a scout for the Ottawa 67’s.
Perfect Fit for the Flames
The reason many Flames fans were so excited about the addition of Toffoli is that he appears to be a great fit for their team. Not only does he fill a big need in terms of secondary scoring, but he has experience playing in high-pressure markets during his time with both the Canadiens and the Vancouver Canucks. He will be crucial in Calgary as the team looks to go on a deep run in this year’s postseason.