Toronto Maple Leafs: Matthews and Rubins Named to Olympic Teams

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

On Thursday, Toronto Maple Leafs superstar Auston Matthews was named to the USA Men’s Hockey Team for the 2022 Winter Olympics in China. He was the first player within the Maple Leafs organization to be named to an Olympic team for the 2022 Olympics.

Matthews had a great 2020-21 season scoring 41 goals and 25 assists for 66 points in 52 games. Those 41 goals were enough to win him his first Maurice “Rocket” Richard trophy as the NHL’s highest goal scorer. (Stats from:

He was able to get a large number of those goals while playing with an injured wrist. There is no telling how well he might have done last season if both his wrists were at 100%. This past August, Matthews and team doctors along with a specialist decided that Matthews should have surgery to repair the wrist.

While doing some off-season training, Matthews felt some discomfort in the wrist and realized that it was not healing on it’s own. He has not played in any of the team’s pre-season games, but he is on schedule to play in the first game of the season on Wednesday, October 13th.

Hopefully his wrist will be fully healed and not hinder at all this season. It is not unrealistic to believe that Matthews can surpass Rick Vaive’s Maple Leafs goals in a season record of 54 if he can stay healthy.

Another Player Within The Toronto Maple Leafs Organization Added To Olympic Team

On Friday, the Toronto Marlies announced that defenseman Kristians Rubins was named to the Latvian Olympic Men’s Team for the 2022 Winter Olympics. It will be nice to see how Rubins preforms on such a big stage like the Olympics.

The 6’5″, 227 lbs defenseman will be looking to play a big role with this year’s Toronto Marlies team. Let’s hope the Olympic spotlight fuels the best out of Rubins and it translates to a great AHL season.

Rubins is not expected to score many points, but he is a solid shutdown defenseman. He could become the Toronto Maple Leafs stay-at-home defensive defeseman of the future.

When the 2022 Winter Olympics start in February, there could be as many as five or six players from within the Toronto organization in China. William Nylander will likely be added to Team Sweden, and he could be joined by Rasmus Sandin depending on how well Sandin’s season starts.

Joining Matthews on Team USA could be golatender Jack Campbell. If Campbell plays close to how well he played last season, he has a real shot at being selected by Team USA.

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Moving on to Team Canada, we could see both John Tavares and Mitch Marner swapping a blue maple leaf for a red one. Another possibility is defenseman Morgan Rielly. I think he is on the outside looking in right now, but if he has a good start to his season, he might get selected by Team Canada.