Toronto Maple Leafs Details
After spending 2016’s number one overall draft pick on American Auston Matthews, the Toronto Maple Leafs skated out one of the youngest rosters in the NHL, led by the 18-year-old Matthews. His career started off with a bang, as he scored four goals in his first-ever NHL game, adding to the already massive hype surrounding his budding career. A team-leading season followed as Matthews finished with 40 goals and 29 assists and his fantastic play helped Toronto slide into the Eastern Conference playoffs, beating out the Tampa Bay Lightning by a single point for the final Wild Card spot. Upon entering the first round against the stellar Washington Capitals, most didn’t expect much from this young, inexperienced team. What they got was a phenomenal six-game series where five of the games went into overtime. When all was said and done, the Leafs lost 4-2 to the Capitals but showed a massive amount of heart and, at times, some fantastic play on both ends of the ice. Matthews scored four goals in his six playoff games, showing that he already has the feel for postseason hockey.
2017-18 should be an even better year for the team playing out of the Air Canada Center in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Matthews, William Nylander, and Mitch Marner – three of the team’s top five point-scorers – will be a year older and a year wiser. That should result in a more consistent offense, one that finished 5th in the NHL last season despite some inconsistent play. Marner (19 goals, 42 assists) was, at times, a better all-around performer than Matthews and Nylander (22 goals, 39 assists) was fantastic as well. If the defense can find a way to stop the puck and perform better than it was a year ago (22nd in the league in goals against), this Toronto Maple Leafs team will be tough to beat.