Toronto Maple Leafs: 5 Storylines of Success This Past Season

Toronto Maple Leafs (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Toronto Maple Leafs (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) /
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Auston Matthews, Toronto Maple Leafs
Auston Matthews, Toronto Maple Leafs (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /

Auston Matthews

To say that there is a high level of expectation that comes along with being the first overall pick from any draft year would be accurate. And if you happened to be as heavily anticipated as Auston Matthews was, you’d better be ready to produce.

Matthews did not disappoint in his rookie campaign, scoring 40 goals throughout 2016-17. The 69 points he accumulated in the 82 games played that year also earned him the Calder Memorial Trophy, as the league’s best rookie.

He tallied another 34 goals through 62 contests in 2017-18. Despite a lower total, he scored at a pace of 0.55 per game that year as compared which was up from 0.49 the previous year.

In 2018-19, Matthews played 68 games and earned 37 goals, which was a pace of 0.54 per game. Was his scoring levelling off or was there more left to be seen?

Auston Matthews – NHL Standard Career Statistics
Scor Scor Scor Goal Goal Goal Goal Assi Assi Assi Shot Ice
16-17 TOR 82 40 29 69 2 14 32 8 0 8 16 13 0 14.3 17:38 61 21 76
17-18 TOR 62 34 29 63 25 12 29 5 0 5 21 8 0 18.2 18:08 61 16 59
18-19 TOR 68 37 36 73 -9 12 25 12 0 5 28 8 0 14.7 18:33 60 28 57
19-20 TOR 70 47 33 80 19 8 35 12 0 5 20 13 0 16.2 20:58 60 40 78

Provided by View Original Table

He wasted no time answers that question in 2019-20, starting the season by getting two goals (including the game-winner) against the Ottawa Senators in Toronto’s first game this past year.

And he didn’t stop there. Matthews picked up 47 goals in 70 games throughout 2019-20 as he forged his way into the race for the Rocket Richard Trophy, battling alongside Alexander Ovechkin and David Pastrnak all season long.

Ultimately, Ovechkin and Pastrnak ended up sharing the award with 48 goals each. This just goes to show the types of company we should be expecting Matthews to be mentioned amongst.

Had the season completed as originally scheduled, Matthews was on pace for 55 goals by the end of it. He would have surpassed Rick Vaive, who earned 54 in 1981-82, to take over the franchise record for most goals in a single season.

Auston Matthews is expected to be the best player on the ice and he continues to show the Toronto Maple Leafs that he embraces that responsibility. As he evolves into a type of superstar unlike any this city has ever seen, fans will witness him make history in Toronto.

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Obviously, none of these successes amount to the Toronto Maple Leafs winning a Stanley Cup. However, they help illustrate that the organization continues to elevate and progress. This team will create the storyline that no other Maple Leafs roster has been able to in over 50 years.