The Toronto Maple Leafs have three unsung superstars that are not properly appreciated by the fanbase.
If John Tavares, William Nylander and Morgan Rielly were on different teams, they would be looked at as heroes, but since they play for the Toronto Maple Leafs, they get terrible press on a nightly basis.
Auston Matthews and Mitch Marner are valued as god’s in Toronto, but for whatever reason, Tavares and Nylander are not.
If you could clone a hockey player, you’d clone Tavares. He is the perfect hockey player in every sense of the game. Sure, he’s not a lightning-fast player like Connor McDavid, but his speed doesn’t hurt him.
He’s as consistent as they come and is the captain of this team for a reason. He’s as professional as they come and he represents the community in amazing fashion. Not only that, but every single season he delivers stats.
For the 13th consecutive season, he’s going to score 20 goals in a season. I know he only scored 19 goals last year, but that was a 56-game season. If they played a normal year, he was on-pace to score well over 20 goals.
With 74 points in 75 games thus far, Tavares is delivering and there’s no reason to be upset as a fan.
The same thing can be said about William Nylander.
For years, Leafs fans would fall in love with any player that scored 30 goals in a season, but when Nylander does it, it doesn’t matter. For the second time in his career, Nylander is a 30-goal scorer and is one of the best young players in the game.
However, since he doesn’t fight or hit, he’s looked at as just a “skilled player” who can’t get the job done in the playoffs.
Toronto Maple Leafs Have 3 Underrated Superstars
Nylander is going to go down as a top-10 player in Toronto Maple Leafs history, but will never get the respect that he deserves. I feel like he could score the game-winning goal in overtime to win the Stanley Cup, but fans would still be upset that he didn’t jump into a pile and try to punch someone.
Last not but least, is Morgan Rielly.
A number-one centre and number-one defenseman were the Leafs biggest problems for decades. However, now that they have two number-one centres and a number-one defenseman, it’s still not good enough.
If you’re an amazing skater and are more offensive than defensive as a defenseman, that’s somehow not good enough in this city. What more can you ask for from a top-defenseman than what Rielly brings every night?
Not only is he the longest serving player and is another amazing ambassador for the team and city, but he’s sixth in the NHL in defensive scoring this year. He’s not going to win a Norris Trophy but he’s definitely going to be top-10 in voting (again).
Rielly is an amazing asset to the blue-line is someone who needs more respect.
This fanbase needs to wake up and understand that even if Matthews and Marner weren’t here, they’d still have a first-line centre, first line winger and a number-one defenseman on this roster.
This roster is awesome and these three players see way more hate than they should. If they were on the Buffalo Sabres right now, the Buffalo fanbase would be saying they could make the playoffs next year, so let’s appreciate what we have until it gone.
The playoffs are going to be a grind, but enjoy the moment as all three of these players are special and will be with the team for a long time.