Remember when Auston Matthews couldn’t score goals? He now has 10 through his first career 22 games. He’s second in league-wide rookie scoring; only Patrik Laine - who has taken fewer shots than Matthews has, even though he’s played more games - has more, with 13.
So it looks like Matthews is doing alright after all.
But wait! In the Maple Leafs’ win over the Oilers, two other Leafs players scored their 10th of the season, too: James van Riemsdyk and Nazem Kadri.
Who else in the NHL has multiple double digit goal scorers? The Jets - in addition to Laine, there’s also Mark Scheifele - the Rangers, with Michael Grabner, Kevin Hayes, and Rick Nash; and that’s it.
This is pretty cool for the Leafs franchise on its own, too. Via the Elias Sports Bureau:
The Maple Leafs have played 22 games. This is the earliest juncture in a season (by games played) at which the Leafs have had three players with a double-digit goal total since 1987-88, when Russ Courtnall, Al Iafrate and Eddie Olczyk all had 10 goals or more by Toronto's 21st game.
Courtnall ended up with 23 goals that season, Iafrate 22, and Olczyk 42.
If we pro-rate the current Leafs trio, then they’re all scoring 37 goals this season. That’s probably not happening - while Matthews’ shooting percentage is a respectable 12.7%, van Riemsdyk and Kadri’s are noticeably higher than their career averages.
If we use their career averages, though, then we get van Riemsdyk scoring 26, and Kadri, 25. (And Matthews, 37, which, well, that’d be a pretty good rookie year.) And those? Those would be good numbers across the board, if they can keep this quality start up.