Auston Matthews Is Having Greatest Year in Toronto Maple Leafs History

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

Auston Matthews is currently having the greatest individual season in Toronto Maple Leafs history.

Whether you’re a fan or not, every Toronto Maple Leafs game is must-watch right now as Auston Matthews is playing out of his mind. Currently in his sixth season as a professional, the 24-year-old has stepped up his game to a whole new level this year.

As it currently stands, Matthews has 43 goals and 75 points in 54 games played, representing a 1.39 points per game and 0.80 goals per game pace. He’s missed a few games thus far, but that’s an 82-game pace of 66 goals and 114 points.

Sure, more players have scored at a better points per game pace than that recently, but if Matthews can keep up his goal-scoring pace, this will be the most impressive season since Alex Ovechkin’s 2007-08 campaign when he scored 65 goals and had 112 points.

During that season, Ovechkin won the Art Ross, Maurice “Rocket” Richard and Hart Trophy, which are the three big individual trophies that Matthews has eyes on.

He’s currently the favorite to win the Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophy and is only five points shy of the Art Ross Trophy right now. If he can win both of those awards, or come very close to winning the points-crown, he’ll definitely end up winning the Hart Trophy, as the NHL’s most valuable player.

Matthews Is the Best Player in Toronto Maple Leafs History

Here are the top-five best seasons in Toronto Maple Leafs history, based off points and goals scored (stats:

Top-Five Seasons (Points):

  1. Doug Gilmour: 127 points (1992-93 season)
  2. Darryl Sittler: 117 points (1977-78 season)
  3. Doug Gilmour: 111 points (1993-94 season)
  4. Darryl Sittler: 100 points (1975-76 season)
  5. Dave Andreychuk: 99 points (1993-94 season)

Top-Five Seasons (Goals):

  1. Rick Vaive: 54 goals (1981-82 season)
  2. Dave Andreychuk: 53 goals (1993-94 season)
  3. Rick Vaive: 52 goals (1983-84 season)
  4. Rick Vaive: 51 goals (1982-83 season)
  5. Gary Leeman: 51 goals (1989-90 season)

In the 104-year history of the Toronto Maple Leafs, only four players have scored 100 points in a season and only five players have scored 50 goals or more.

At this pace, Auston Matthews is set to become the only Leafs player in team history to do both in his career, but more impressively, both in one season.

Matthews should shatter Vaive’s record for 54 goals in a season, and although he probably won’t catch Doug Gilmour’s 127 point record, he should get close to Darryl Sittler’s 117 point season.

If you think Gilmour’s 127 points in the 1992-93 season was more impressive than Matthews’ current campaign, you’re kidding yourself. Matthews is five points back of the Art Ross Trophy right now, with a decent chance to actually win the award. Meanwhile Gilmour finished 33 points back of Mario Lemieux and was seventh in NHL scoring that year.

During that 1992-93 season, 14 players scored 50 or more goals, five players scored 60 or more and two players scored 70 or more goals, so scoring was way easier than it is today (stats: To compare that to the 2018-19 season (which was the last 82-game season), only two players scored 50 or more goals that year, while only 13 players scored 40 or more.

No disrespect to Gilmour’s marvelous season 30 years ago, but It was a completely different league back then and scoring was easy. If Matthews played in that era, he’d probably score 100 goals per season.

Whether it’s a slap-shot, wrap-around, back-handed or snap-shot, Matthews can legitimately score in every which way, which makes his game even more scary for his opponents.

If you’re not watching every Leafs game right now from start-to-finish, do yourself a favor and make time for it. Matthews is at the peak of his powers right now and it’s essentially like watching LeBron James in his prime.

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Let’s hope Matthews can keep this pace up for the rest of the year and become the first player since the 1950s to win a Hart Trophy, because he deserves it.