One of the more noteworthy moves from the New Jersey Devils summer transactions is the acquisition of Tyler Toffoli. Coming over from Calgary in exchange for Yegor Sharangovich and a third round selection, most felt this was an immediate offensive upgrade. Not only was Toffoli the leading scorer for the Flames last season, but he's usually good for 25-30 goals a season. He shattered that mark last season and could be capable of doing so again.
But is it reasonable for the Devils to expect the same from Toffoli? After all, we're talking about a player past his prime who was the leading scorer for a bad team. His career high of 73 points from this past season is 15 more than his previous which came back in 2015-16. His critics also state his speed to be one of the weaker points of his game, making him the antithesis of this Devils squad, right?
Well let's hit the brakes on the negative narrative for just a minute here.
While Toffoli had what more than likely winds up being a career year in 2022-23, it's not to say he's going to come to New Jersey and become inept. He's not coming to the Devils to be the leading scorer. He's coming in because he can put pucks into the net and supplement the team's core. By the time training camp and the preseason shake out, Toffoli might not even be on either of the top two lines. He might be a third line wing who can feast on weaker competition.
Even if that scenario comes true, I still think it's reasonable to expect a season in line with his averages. His 466 points in 733 career games played so far equates to roughly 0.64 points per game, or 52 points per 82 games. If Toffoli comes in and provides that, with 25-30 of those points being goals, he'll be worth the cost of acquiring him and then some. The Devils were able to get roughly that total from Tomas Tatar last session, and I think Toffoli has a bit more in the tank than Tatar to boot.
One more point of intrigue: Toffoli is slated to be an unrestricted free agent after this season. He very well might put up a repeat of last season in hopes of getting one last big NHL contract. The Devils have the firepower to surround him with that could get him to the 70 point range, and he could also help to enhance the point totals of his teammates with his goal scoring ability. If he gets 50 that's good; 60, better. If he gets to 70+? The Devils could be extremely dangerous and prepared to make a deep run if that's the case. Should we expect that? Probably not, but I think a 50-60 point contribution is reasonable and would help push the Devils towards taking another step in the playoffs.
What are your thoughts on the upcoming season for Tyler Toffoli? Do you think he winds up with a point total in line with his career averages? Does he put up another season like last due to his contract status? Is there any concern you have regarding Toffoli with the Devils based on his critics, or are you in the "wait until he plays for us" camp? Leave any and all comments below and thanks as always for reading!