clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Maple Leafs one of just four teams to have this many rookies this late in the season

And they’re not too far out of a playoff spot, to boot.

Vancouver Canucks v Toronto Maple Leafs Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images

We know the Toronto Maple Leafs are a very young team this season. Hell, the way things are going between Auston Matthews, Mitch Marner, and William Nylander, they could even sweep the Calder finalists.

That probably won’t happen. Maybe. Knock on wood. Though they definitely are three of the top rookies to start this season.

But hey, speaking of rookies - the Leafs have an almost historic amount of them. Via Elliotte Friedman’s 30 Thoughts (#18):

Toronto is the fourth team in the last 25 years to have seven rookies play in a game after Nov. 1. The first two, the 1991-92 San Jose Sharks and 2003-04 Chicago Blackhawks, missed the playoffs. The 2013-14 Tampa Bay Lightning made it, although an injury to Ben Bishop ended their chances against Montreal in the first round.

As Friedman notes, those Sharks were an expansion team, and many of the Lightning’s rookies were much older, while the Leafs’ prominent trio are 19, 19, and 20. He also notes that those Sharks and Blackhawks teams played in a different era, when obstruction was much more prominent; today’s game tends to favour players like Marner.

As things stand right now, the Leafs are a little over .500, and just out of a playoff spot. It’s really early yet, but if they can keep this up, well.