Hey, turns out Auston Matthews can score goals, after all! Who knew?
To celebrate, let’s check in with rookie scoring as a whole - because if you’re the Toronto Maple Leafs, there’s a lot to like there.
Noted second overall pick Patrik Laine continues to lead the NHL in rookie scoring with 18 points in 22 games. However, right behind him are Auston Matthews and Mitch Marner with 16 points in 20 games each, and William Nylander is tied with the Blue Jackets’ Zach Werenski with 15 points.
So currently, a quarter of the way through the season, the Leafs have three of the NHL’s top five rookie scorers. They’re all on pace for over 60 points. And nobody has any particularly inflated shooting percentages, so it’s entirely reasonable to expect them to keep this up.
They’re also among the top Leafs in scoring, period, so this is a pretty fun rookie group to keep up with, isn’t it?
Matthews and Nylander are even among the top 5v5 corsi players on the Leafs. (Marner isn’t, but when he scores the Leafs tend to actually win, so he’s got that going for him.)
When’s the last time an NHL team had this many rookies doing so well all at once? Last season, the Coyotes had Max Domi and Anthony Duclair; the year before, the Senators had Mark Stone and Mike Hoffman; the year before that, the Lightning had Ondrej Palat and Tyler Johnson.
Going back through the 2000s, you see plenty of good rookie duos; you don’t really see trios. There’s also always generally some separation between the duos, while so far, through 20 games, these guys are all keeping up with one another.
So this? This is really cool.