Teams are always looking for a hidden gem, a player buried in the American Hockey League that they can pluck and watch flourish into a bona fide NHLer. Andrei Loktionov of the Manchester Monarchs is that guy. He’s always been a point-a-game centre in the AHL and showed promise that he can translate that success to the NHL level. Problem is, in the Kings organization, he’s playing behind Anze Kopitar, Mike Richards and Jarret Stoll.
[...] Tyler [...] is leading the OHL with 13 goals and he is sixth in the League in overall scoring with 25 points.
[He] has a lot of natural ability. His numbers in the past speak volumes. Since being drafted by the Kings, [he] has matured in both his growth and in his approach to the game in addition to being a pro. [He] has talents and instincts you can’t teach. [He] needs a little improvement in his foot speed and skating. He has worked on that diligently in the last year and has taken major strides [...].
[...] Mike Futa, the Kings’ Director of Amateur Scouting [...], has followed Tyler since he was a Bantam-age player (14 years old) playing with the Jr. Canadians. Says Futa: "Tyler has scored at all levels. He is a natural at finding the scoring areas and at getting his shot off. Both Mark and Jack Ferreira, our club’s special assistant to the general manager, say that Tyler is ‘off the charts’ with the puck."
Futa also commented on Tyler’s work since being drafted. "Tyler has taken huge strides to become an NHL player both on and off the ice. At one time you couldn’t get him to take his shirt off. Now you can’t get him to put one on. That shows his commitment to his off-season training."
[...] He has already showed his leadership with his team in Ottawa by getting off to a great start after a solid training camp with the Kings in Los Angeles. Tyler will become a pro upon completion of his Junior year this season.
Although the Regina Pats’ star was a shoo-in to represent the WHL in the Subway Super Series against Russia, Weal didn’t sound like someone who was going through the motions Thursday when he was named to the all-star squad for the second year in a row.
"It’s a privilege to get to play with the best players in the league and come together and play against another extremely talented team," offered Weal, who’s slated to dress in both games (Nov. 16 in Regina and Nov. 17 in Moose Jaw). [...] The stakes are [high] for Weal, who’s looking to make an impression on Hockey Canada’s brass in hopes of being invited to the world junior team’s tryout camp. Canadian head coach Don Hay and assistant Ryan Huska will be behind the bench of Team WHL, getting a final up-close look at the league’s prospects. [...] Weal has additional motivation after being left off Canada’s tryout roster last year. He was also a surprising omission from the summer orientation camp. [...] "It has really given me that extra motivation in the dog days of summer to keep pushing. I’m always trying to get my hopes up because when you get your hopes up and something doesn’t happen it gives you more fuel to make it happen next time." Weal’s on-ice credentials suggest he has earned a shot, having emerged from the shadow of former linemate Jordan Eberle to record more points over the past two seasons than any player in the WHL (198). The 19-year-old centre is off to another fine start this year, recording seven goals and 19 points in 13 games. If he stays healthy, Weal is expected to challenge for a league scoring title for the third straight year, but he has bigger goals in mind.
I love the quote I put in bold. Toffoli was named to the OHL team, by the way. In case you're wondering, Maxim Kitsyn is playing in the KHL and will not be on the Russian junior team. Boo.