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It was all rookies for the Toronto Maple Leafs

When’s the last time five different rookies scored in one game? Like, 1984.

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

The Toronto Maple Leafs are a team of rookies.

That brings with it a couple of facts worthy of pointing out. For one thing, playoffs this year would be an awesome bonus, but hardly a measure of the team’s success as a whole; this is still essentially a team of a bunch of kids who are all still learning.

For another thing, dang, does this group have a bunch of good rookies. Not only do they have three of the NHL’s top four scoring rookies, but they have another three rookies in the top 10 (which is more like a top 12, as a Connor Brown, Zach Hyman, and Nikita Zaitsev are all tied with 23 points each).

As a matter of fact, six of the Leafs’ top 10 scorers themselves are rookies, including their top scorer.

You can’t get much more of rookies on display than with the Leafs’ 6-5 overtime loss to the Islanders - a game in which five different rookies scored all of the Leafs’ goals, which is far from common. Via the Elias Sports Bureau:

Rookies Nikita Soshnikov, Auston Matthews, Mitch Marner, Zach Hyman and William Nylander each scored one goal for the Maple Leafs in their 6–5 overtime loss to the Islanders. Five rookies scoring a goal in one game sets a Toronto franchise record, breaking the old mark of four done several times but not since Oct. 23, 1948, when freshmen Frank Mathers, Les Costello, Fleming Mackell and Robert Dawes each scored once in a 6–1 win against Chicago. Before the Leafs’ quintet did it against the Islanders, the last NHL team to have five rookies score goals in the same game was Calgary in its 10–3 win against the North Stars on March 31, 1984. The Flames’ rookie goal-scorers in that game were Tim Hunter (two goals), Rich Kromm, Al MacInnis, Dan Quinn and Carey Wilson.

Of course, to have that many rookies scoring in a single game you have to be dressing that many rookies in the lineup to begin with. And it’s not often you see NHL teams put so much trust in their rookies, let alone have them leading the way.

But we’re seeing it with the Leafs right now, and the Leafs are doing pretty well overall, so it’s pretty exciting... and probably bodes rather well for the future, too.