Another game, another multi-point effort from the Toronto Maple Leafs’ rookies. This time specifically, it was Auston Matthews and William Nylander both contributing on the Leafs’ two goals against the San Jose Sharks - their fifth multi-point games this season, each.
That’s as good a cause as any to check back in on the NHL rookie scoring race, isn’t it? With apologies to Mitch Marner.
Patrik Laine is still right at the top, with 25 points in 32 games. However, Matthews is right behind him, with 22 points in 28 games. Both are on pace for 64 points.
While we’re here, though, we should note that Laine has four more goals on a much higher shooting percentage. Laine has 2.6 shots per game, and a 20.2 shooting percentage; Matthews has 3.6 shots per game, and a 12.9 shooting percentage. While it’s possible Laine is just a high percentage player, if you had to bet on one of these two to win the rookie scoring race, Matthews is probably the guy.
But it isn’t all just Matthews! He’s second in rookie scoring at the moment, yes; third is Marner, and fourth is Nylander. Three of the top four rookie scorers are Leafs: Marner has 20 points, and Nylander has 19, in 28 and 27 games, respectively.
That’s a hell of a field to have. They’re three of the four top scorers on the Leafs, too, with only James van Riemsdyk slotting himself in at second with 21 points.
The games could be going, well, better. But if you’re looking to the future, there’s a lot to like here.