Toronto Maple Leafs: Where Does Auston Matthews Rank Among Young NHL Stars?

TORONTO, ON - SEPTEMBER 28: Auston Matthews #34 of the Toronto Maple Leafs skates with the puck during an NHL pre-season game against the Detroit Red Wings at Scotiabank Arena on September 28, 2019 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - SEPTEMBER 28: Auston Matthews #34 of the Toronto Maple Leafs skates with the puck during an NHL pre-season game against the Detroit Red Wings at Scotiabank Arena on September 28, 2019 in Toronto, Canada. (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images) /
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NEWARK, NJ – JANUARY 06: Mitch Marner #16 of the Toronto Maple Leafs skates against the New Jersey Devils at the Prudential Center on January 6, 2017 in Newark, New Jersey. The Maple Leafs defeated the Devils 4-2. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
NEWARK, NJ – JANUARY 06: Mitch Marner #16 of the Toronto Maple Leafs skates against the New Jersey Devils at the Prudential Center on January 6, 2017 in Newark, New Jersey. The Maple Leafs defeated the Devils 4-2. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /

#10 – Elias Pettersson

At just 20 years old, Elias Petterson is already the Vancouver Canucks most valuable player. He is one of the most dynamic players in the game, and he is one of few players that does not have a direct comparison to anyone in the hockey world in my opinion.

Pettersson is one of the most creative players in the league and his ceiling of potential is completely unknown with the skillset he possesses. He can turn a non-eventful play into a scoring chance in a split second, and has the complimentary skills to not only be a goalscoring threat with his illusive slap shot, as well as his patience with the puck in order to find his finishing line mates Brock Boeser and J.T Miller.

The 2019 Calder Trophy winner led the Canucks in goals, assists, and finished with 66 points in 71 games last season, breaking the franchise record for rookie scoring. Pettersson has only gotten better in his sophomore season, and is on pace for a breakout 90 points, which is entirely attainable for a player of his caliber.

#9 – Brayden Point

Brayden Point and Mitch Marner have a lot of similar skill sets, and have very similar advanced stats over their careers. Last season, Point scored 94 points and tied McDavid and MacKinnon for sixth in goals with 41, which is the major difference between Marner and Point; the goalscoring.

Point is currently third in points on the Lightning with 20 in 21 games, first in goals with 10, and is ranked second among forwards on the team in CF% only behind Nikita Kucherov. Point is also ranked second on his team in individual expected goals, and second in high danger scoring chances/60 minutes.

This helps when playing alongside 2019 Hart trophy winner Nikita Kucherov of course, but Point has become a goalscorer in his own right that gives him value above a lot of other assist men in the league, and is on pace for yet another 40-goal year.

#8 – Mitch Marner

Mitch Marner is one of the best puck distributors in the league.  Last season Marner finished third in the NHL in primary assists with 52, and fourth in assists overall with 68.

Mitch has never scored less than 60 points in a season, and has also never gotten less than 40 assists throughout his three years in the NHL.

Marner’s 94 point season last year playing on the wing of John Tavares allowed Tavares to score a career-high 47 goals which was good enough for third place behind only Draisaitl and Ovechkin.

Despite being under much scrutiny due to extensive contract negotiations in the summer, Marner was performing well this season before getting injured in early November.

With four goals and 14 assists for a point-per-game average through his 18 games played, Marner has been playing well when he does not even look like it.

Marner has also never experienced an injury of this extent in his career, and how he bounces back could definitely alter the way he ranks among these players.