The Los Angeles Kings liked what they saw in Trevor Moore when they traded away two key pieces to acquire him in February of 2020.
Nearly three years later, the Kings are reaping the rewards.
Moore will be looking to notch the 100th point of his NHL career when the Kings host the Minnesota Wild on Tuesday night.
Moore had a goal and an assist in a 5-4 win against the visiting Florida Panthers on Saturday night, his fourth multi-point game of the season.
Moore, a Los Angeles-area native who was never drafted into the NHL, said he’s kept a keen eye on his elite-level teammates with both the Toronto Maple Leafs, who traded him to Los Angeles, and the Kings, borrowing different elements of their games.
“They try to look before they get the puck and get their head up right away,” Moore said. “Obviously, I’m not at that level, but it helps to take a peek before you get the puck.”
The Kings are also benefiting from the play of 23-year-old center Gabriel Vilardi, who scored his team-leading ninth goal of the season against the Panthers.
Vilardi, the 11th overall pick by Los Angeles in the 2017 NHL Draft, is one goal from matching his NHL career high set over 54 games in 2020-21.
“He’s done a lot of good things for us,” Kings coach Todd McLellan said.
Blake Lizotte, another young center for the Kings, has scored a goal in each of the past two games.
Los Angeles winger Kevin Fiala is also set to play his former team for the second time this season.
Fiala, who spent the past four seasons with the Wild before signing a free-agent deal with the Kings in the offseason, had a goal and two assists in a 7-6 win in Minnesota on Oct. 15.
Fiala has a team-leading 11 assists for Los Angeles and nine points (two goals, seven assists) over his past seven games.
The Wild haven’t played since a 4-0 loss to the visiting Seattle Kraken on Thursday, and Minnesota coach Dean Evason said the extended rest should make a difference.
“The last game, we had no energy,” Evason said. “We’ve had four days off. We’ve had two complete days off, so there’s absolutely no reason why our energy (during practice Monday) shouldn’t lead into our energy, not only for (Tuesday), but going forward.”
The Wild are also beginning to get some key players back from injury.
Jordan Greenway played less than three minutes of his season debut against the Vancouver Canucks on Oct. 20 before the left wing left with an upper-body injury.
Greenway, who had 10 goals and 17 assists in 62 games last season, will be in the lineup against the Kings.
Marcus Foligno is expected to rejoin the Wild when they visit the Kraken on Friday. Foligno has been sidelined with an upper-body injury since Oct. 30.
The Wild called up Adam Beckman and Joseph Cramarossa from the Iowa Wild of the American Hockey League on Sunday.
Cramarossa is expected to make his season debut against the Kings, likely on the fourth line.
Brandon Duhaime and Ryan Hartman will not accompany the Wild on their three-game road trip because of upper-body injuries.
Hartman sustained an apparent shoulder injury during a fight against the Chicago Blackhawks on Oct. 30.
–Field Level Media