Maple Leafs: Jake Muzzin So Underrated It Probably Hurts His Feelings

Jake Muzzin,Toronto Maple Leafs (Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports)
Jake Muzzin,Toronto Maple Leafs (Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports) /

The Toronto Maple Leafs acquired Jake Muzzin from the Los Angeles Kings in one of the best trades in what has been Kyle Dubas’ best move of his career so far.

The Toronto Maple Leafs absolutely heisted Muzzin out of LA for a first round pick and some B-prospects.  The NHL is a cruel and capricious business though, and it’s ironic that the best trade of Dubas’ career has cost him twice, due to Muzzin being injured in back-to-back playoff series.

I mean, you can take all the coulda shoulda beens and  the blame and the fallout and stuff them in a sack when you realize that if Muzzin had have been healthy, the Leafs would easily have advanced in both the past two years.

Jake Muzzin is a empirically a number-one defenseman in the NHL, but he is also extremely underrated, and is usually perceived as more of a complimentary #2 or #3. This is just absolute nonsense.  (stats

Toronto Maple Leafs and Jake Muzzin

Is Jake Muzzin as good as Cale Makar or peak-level Erik Karlsson? No.  But if that is your definition, then there are only ever three-number ones in the league at any time.

Jake Muzzin is one of the NHL’s best defenseman, but because he doesn’t put up gaudy offensive numbers, he doesn’t get the credit he deserves.  He has two Stanley Cups and about a decade as one of the best play  driving defenseman in the league.

Last season, among all blueliners who played at least 900 minutes, he was ranked 8th in expected-goals percentage.

Thanks to @Jfresh for the great graphics.  As is clearly seen, Jake Muzzin is one of the best defenseman in the NHL.  People constantly complain about how the Leafs spent their cap money, but the fact is, they spent it well.

The reason the Athletic ranked them 2nd in the league on Salary Cap Usage last week is because of contacts like this (and the ones to Rielly, Brodie, Nylander and Campbell) that more than compensate for any overpayments to the likes of John Tavares.

I don’t know if Jake Muzzin is a sensitive guy or not, but despite being a millionaire athlete who is living his dreams, he may well be. It might really bother him that he’s among the most underrated players in NHL history.  In case that is the case, we should properly acknowledge how good he is so that we don’t hurt his feelings.

Next. Top 5 Free Agent Signings This Summer Across the NHL. dark

For all we know, he sends his summers listening to Disintegration on a repeat, while reading through the collected works of Emily Dickinson,  hoping to one day earn the recognition to match his performance.  Jake Muzzin is one of the NHL’s top 15 defenseman, and may have been ranked even higher last year.  Hopefully if we acknowledge this, it  will cheer him up and help his confidence!