After essentially a lost 2021 season, LA Kings prospect Tyler Madden is healthy and ready to play big minutes for the Reign.
Tyler Madden was one of five LA Kings prospects loaned to Eisbaren Berlin to participate in the team’s training camp while the NHL and supporting leagues sorted out their respective schedules. Unfortunately, the 21-year-old centerman was sent home early to have surgery on his finger.
The Deerfield, Florida, native was included in the Tyler Toffoli deal with Vancouver in February 2020. The former third-rounder was putting a bow on a remarkable sophomore year at Northeastern University, one that saw the young forward accumulate 37 points in just 27 games.
He was expected to have a large role with the Ontario Reign in the abbreviated 2021 schedule, but Madden was sidelined with a broken collarbone after recovering from the finger injury. In all, he was limited to 14 games, scoring a goal with four assists along the way.
Madden is one of several centers jockeying for position on the LA Kings’ prospect depth chart. Last season, he played a few games at the wing, which could be a path to the NHL. Participating in the team’s development camp this week, Madden spoke with the media after Day 4 on Thursday.
On returning this season after a 2021 littered with injuries
I had definitely a rough year last year, but it’s good to be out there and getting some game feel and stuff like that for this week. So, it’s been really good. My stride and everything got a little bit faster. I’ve been here for most of the summer, so that’s definitely helped out.
On his relationship with Alex Turcotte and having the opportunity to get more reps with him sidelined
Me and Turcs, we think the game the same way. So, every time we get out there together, you know, we can find each other very easily. We know where each other is going to be. And as for reps, when you lose a guy, we get a little bit more, but that’s always good. Get a little bit better every day.
Thoughts on his game and having a proper introduction to the team with a clean bill of health
I think that first year under my belt, even though I didn’t get a lot of games because of my injury, I think it was a real good way to start. And I think this is kind of what I consider going to be my first year of pro, but last year definitely helped me out changing to a pro-style life. And it’s good to be back at dev camp. I always love these things, learn some things, so it’s all good.
On how long since he’s been fully recovered from the collarbone injury
I’ve been good for about– I want to say since the start of summer, back to 100%. So, we’ll be good to go when the season comes.
Takeaways from what was essentially a lost season and what he did to stay mentally in the game
Since I was out a bit, I got to watch a lot of the games. I think that in itself is a good way to learn how everybody plays in this league. It is a little bit different in college, obviously, so I think that helped a lot. Then also, just my off-ice training really went up a bunch, and taking care of my body and stuff like that is the kind of thing I focused on when I was out. And then once I got back to skating, I just kind of jumped back into right back into full stride and was back with the team.
On where he’s at in his development and goals for the upcoming season
Yeah, I think still get it a little bit stronger [and] faster, obviously, and then also just getting adjusted to the game at the pro level. Last year, like I said, I only played a handful of games. I think this year, I need to establish myself on the top line for the Reign and play some big minutes, and then hopefully, my game can take over from there.
On getting a couple of games in at the end of the year and Coach Wroblewski indicating he has an “earned confidence” about him.
I think those couple of games for me were just kind of getting back into it. But, you know, I just like to play with confidence. That’s a big part of my game. If I’m confident, then my game is gonna be at its highest, obviously. And, you know, it’s always nice to hear that from Wrobo, obviously, because missing a bunch of the season, he didn’t get to see me too much at the beginning, and then he saw me at the end [of the season].