NHL Rumors: Top Trade Buzz on Tyler Toffoli, Bobby Ryan and Jesse Puljujarvi

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistNovember 5, 2019

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - SEPTEMBER 23:  Tyler Toffoli #73 of the Los Angeles Kings lines up for a faceoff during a preseason game against the Anaheim Ducks at at Staples Center on September 23, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
Harry How/Getty Images

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Tyler Toffoli

With forward Tyler Toffoli off to a slow start and his contract set to expire at the end of the season, the Los Angeles Kings are reportedly considering moving him.

During a recent radio appearance, Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet (h/t Dave Stevenson of Fansided) said that Toffoli is "definitely available."

The right wing has three goals and four assists through 13 games, and although he has been one of the Kings' better offensive contributors this season, head coach Todd McLellan sat him for one game as a healthy scratch.

Last season, Toffoli finished with only 13 goals and 21 assists despite playing in all 82 games. The 27-year-old was also a minus player for the first time in his career at minus-16 on a Kings team that was among the NHL's worst.

Although recent history hasn't been kind to Toffoli, he is a three-time 20-goal scorer, and his best season came in 2015-16 when he finished with 31 goals and 27 assists for 58 points as well as a plus-20 rating.

With a 5-9 record, the Kings are second-to-last in the Western Conference's Pacific Division and third-to-last in the conference. Given that it looks like L.A. is in for another rough season, it is difficult to envision Toffoli remaining with the team through the trade deadline in February.

Toffoli has shown that he can be a productive scorer with the right linemates, and if he can be had for something reasonable like a third-round pick, he could provide some much-needed scoring depth in the middle six for a contending team.

        

Bobby Ryan

Like Toffoli in L.A., veteran forward Bobby Ryan is essentially on the outs with the Ottawa Senators as a frequent healthy scratch.

According to Ken Warren of the Ottawa Sun, the Sens—who are in the basement of the Eastern Conference—are exploring "any and all opportunities for a new NHL home for Ryan." While Ottawa would undoubtedly love to move Ryan, the length and value of his contract may make it nearly impossible.

While the 32-year-old was once an elite NHL goal scorer, that hasn't been the case for nearly a decade, and any team that trades for him would be taking on a $7.25 million cap hit through 2021-22. The only way the Senators could possibly find a taker is if they eat most of his salary, although that would at least partially defeat the purpose of trading him.

The center has one goal and three assists in 11 games this season, and he has reached the 20-goal plateau just once in the past five seasons and twice during his tenure in Ottawa. It is a far cry from his status as a consistent 30-goal guy in Anaheim.

Ryan scored at least 30 times in four consecutive seasons as a member of the Ducks, and he has never reached that level with the Senators. In fact, Ryan entered the 2019-20 season having scored 15 or less goals and tallied 42 or less points in three straight seasons.

That kind of production is tough to take even at a price tag of around $3 million or $4 million, but at over $7 million, the Senators are likely stuck with Ryan's contract until they decide to buy him out.

       

Jesse Puljujarvi

With Jesse Puljujarvi thriving in his native Finland, the Edmonton Oilers may be closing in on making a decision regarding the former No. 4 overall draft pick.

According to Chris Johnston of Sportsnet, the Oilers are weighing their options with regard to Puljujarvi, and the New York Rangers are a team that has showed "persistent interest" in him.

Puljujarvi didn't sign his restricted free-agent qualifying offer with the Oilers prior to the season, which has allowed him to play in the Finnish Elite League. In 18 games for Karpat, Puljujarvi has registered 11 goals and nine assists for 20 points.

That represents a huge improvement for Puljujarvi, who has just 17 goals and 20 assists in 139 career NHL games for the Oilers.

The 6'4", 215-pound right wing was expected to be a stud alongside the likes of Connor McDavid, Leon Draisaitl and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, but an inability to lock down a spot on a line with any of them or produce when given opportunities forced the Oilers to shuttle him between the NHL and AHL.

It seems likely that Puljujarvi's time in Edmonton is over, which puts the focus on whether the Oilers will be able to agree to a deal with a team that will be able to sign Puljujarvi to a new contract.

The Rangers are an intriguing fit since they are a young and talented team that is seemingly still at least a year away from contending for a playoff spot.

New York is allowing young forwards such as Pavel Buchnevich, Kaapo Kakko and Filip Chytil to learn on the job in the NHL, and the 21-year-old could be another building block for the future.

Given the presence of a fellow Finn in Kakko, the Rangers have a lot to offer Puljujarvi and would seemingly be an ideal landing spot provided they give the Oilers enough in return.

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