After signing a massive seven-year deal, Clarkson more than underperformed by scoring only five goals and added six assists for 11 points. He also was suspended twice and spent time out of the lineup with injuries. Franson, while setting a career-high in points, was horrible on the defensive side of the game with a plus/minus of -20. Both players will need to be better for the Leafs to be better.
As we all know, the Leafs made changes on both the offensive and defensive sides of the game. That should take some of the pressure off of both of them. Will that cause them to be better? We don’t know.
Franson will more than likely be on the third defensive pairing alongside sophomore Morgan Rielly. They probably won’t be going up against the opposition’s best players most of the time, so that could help their offensive totals.
Both players should do better this season. The question is which of them will be better this season.