Trevor Moore was never seen as a second liner, and nobody ever expected him to become that player that would be a key contributor on one of the best-producing lines for the LA Kings in the entire NHL.
Everyone who ever doubted Moore had been proven wrong by the Thousand Oaks native himself. This year, he is up to 47 points in 80 games with 16 goals and 31 assists. After recording only 23 points in 56 games last season, nobody expected him to break out this year and become that top-six forward that the LA Kings have been desperately looking for.
When Moore was signed as a free agent by the Toronto Maple Leafs straight out of the University of Denver, he had 44 points in 40 games as a senior. Nothing had necessarily stood out with Trevor other than his speed and playmaking ability.
Moore later played the following three years in Toronto’s farm system, the Toronto Marlies, before getting recalled to the Maple Leafs, where he served as the extra forward who would occasionally rotate into the lineup whenever there was an injury. He wasn’t scoring too often, but he was a solid depth piece to their successful team. In his time in Canada, Moore put up 13 points in 52 games with the Leafs, before being traded to his childhood favorite and hometown team, the Los Angeles Kings.
Moore was packaged up with two third-round picks for two-time Stanley Cup champion Kyle Clifford and goaltender Jack Campbell. The arrival of Trevor Moore wasn’t necessarily hyped up, and it was seen as some depth add that the Kings could use. Who wouldn’t want to see a hometown guy be a fan favorite during the disquieting times of a rebuild?
In his first few games with LA, Moore didn’t show off his skills too much and had 5 points in 15 games. While the point production wasn’t visible, his talent of being an explosive skater with a pep in his step was evident. His skillset was there, and it was clear that even though he was small, he was choppy with the puck, and he knew how to create plays using those quick and agile edges, as well as his powerful and effective puck handling and movement skills. Maybe it was wishful thinking because of the lack of success, but some people never turned a blind eye.
Moore played the 2020-21 NHL season in full (56 games that year due to Covid-19) and remained a fruitful skater in the bottom six role. While the ten goals and 23 assists weren’t sublime, Trevor Moore was a valuable low-end player who knew how to get into the dirty areas and play the puck fearlessly.
Moore is the type of player never to be afraid to drive forward to the net and use his chances up close in front of the opposing team’s goaltender. That was proven in the 2020-21 season, as most of his Fenwick shots (unblocked shot attempts) were at the front of the net area.
Moore looked to prove himself again as the 2021-22 NHL season rolled around. In the summer of ‘21, Moore had received a two-year contract extension by the LA Kings, which carried a $1.875 million AAV. It was a fair price for the depth forward at the time. But what happened next shocked us all. Trevor turned that “decent price for a depth piece” into “that contract is a steal.”
Even though today’s Trevor Moore is expected to score a point almost every game, he struggled a little bit at the start of the season. It took the Thousand Oaks native 12 games to record his first point, which was a goal, and his first assist came in his 15th game of the season. Moore had only two points in his first 23 games, and there were debates about whether he should have stayed in the lineup or not. That all changed when Trevor was placed on a line with Phillip Danault and Viktor Arvidsson.
That line had one good game, which later turned into a good stretch of games, and has stayed together throughout the regular season. The “nice” line– as it’s titled– is currently 11th in the league in expected goals percentage with 59.6%, 4th in xGF with 29.9, 3rd in the league for xGF/60 with 3.89, and has been LA’s most productive line since mid-December. Trevor Moore even improved individually, seeing how not only his basic analytics started to favor him but also his microstats.
You can visualize that he has been elite with zone entries and his zone exits. His passing has also skyrocketed, knowing that his high-danger passes and setups have put him over the top as a playmaker.
The trio of Moore, Danault, and Arvidsson has assisted both Moore and Danault to finally break out offensively, and having them both produce has been one of the key reasons why the LA Kings are as successful as they currently are.
The arrival of Phil Danault was much desired for the entire team, but it mainly helped out Trevor Moore become the high-scoring winger that he is today. Here’s how Moore has looked analytically with and without Danault.
For the most part, the analytics favor Moore when he’s on Danault’s wing. Again, that is expected, considering how dominant that entire line has been all year. While the PDO remains the same (which is genuinely surprising, seeing how random PDO can be), Moore has been nothing short of average without Danault. But the second that he started playing with Phil, his statistics shot way up, and he became a top-six forward.
Although the offensive statistics, such as his shooting percentage and intangibles, were fixed, his GA/60 got worse. It’s a little ironic how Moore playing with a skilled defensive player would make his stats worse, but that could be just one of the factors that happen during a point where a player is given more offensive zone starts as well as fewer defensive responsibilities.
Although it’s nice to see that Trevor Moore has finally broken out and has made a name for himself, what if the NHL didn’t have its highest-scoring year since 1995-96?
In the last five years (or the Adidas Era years, as I like to call it), the NHL has had its highest-scoring season. At an average of 3.13 goals, it doesn’t even come close to the low scoring we’ve seen these past five years. Thanks to the massive increase in goals and points being scored, we’ve now seen seven players hit the 100-point mark in the NHL, and eight other players hit the 90-point mark.
The large quantity of goals around the league has helped Trevor Moore finally break out and has helped him prove himself as a top six winger on the LA Kings. While the likeness of Moore’s breakout happening in a low-scoring year seems implausible, we should all be glad that the high-scoring has assisted Trevor in helping the LA Kings accelerate to a further step in building their future.