The Toronto Maple Leafs, in their entire 104-year history have only ever had 3 players top the 100-point mark. Mitch Marner is mighty close to joining the list.
Yet despite this all of the plaudits continue to go to his Toronto Maple Leafs line mate Auston Matthews. Simply put, we’re not talking about Mitch Marner enough.
With 5 games left to play, Mitch is just 5 points shy of becoming the fourth ever Toronto Maple Leafs player to hit a 100-point season. Odds are he will achieve it.
In fact, should he manage to do so; the Leafs will have doubled the names on their 100-point season list in just this one season. (stats naturalstattrick.com).
Toronto Maple Leafs Getting Best Version of Mitch Marner
Since the start of the calendar year, Mitch Marner has been on fire. He has tallied 74 points in just 44 games, scoring at a rate of 1.68 points-per-game. If he had managed the same pace across the whole season, right now he’d be sitting on 114 points with five games left to play and would have 122 points by the time those five played out.
Those numbers would put him as the league’s leading scorer. As it is, he still stands 7th in the league, even despite his meagre 21 points in the season’s first 24 games. Right now, his chemistry with Auston Matthews has them marked as possibly one of the best duos in the league today.
Couple that with the fact they’ve managed to bring Michael Bunting along for the ride and get the most out of him too and you’re on to a winner. Perhaps the most remarkable development though isn’t the fact that Mitch Marner is scoring points. He had another 90-plus point NHL season (2018-19) under his belt already.
It’s how he’s tallying the points – he is no longer simply a playmaker that stacks up assists. Mitch Marner is now viewed as a goal scoring threat too, which is keeping goalies guessing.
In most other seasons, his near 100 points coupled with the fact he sees both penalty-kill and power-play time would almost certainly see his name mentioned in Hart Trophy conversations.
Instead, he isn’t even the first Toronto Maple Leafs name mentioned in Hart Trophy conversations, such is the nature of being Auston Matthews’ line mate! To be fair, it isn’t necessarily a spot that Mitch Marner has found himself in before.
In his 2015-16 season with the London Knights, he combined with Christian Dvorak and Matthew Tkachuk (who incidentally also looks set for his first 100-point NHL campaign) but was clearly the stand-out when it came to individual accolades.
Likewise, when he hit the 94-point mark with the Toronto Maple Leafs a few years back, Mitch Marner was seen as the one taking the more experienced John Tavares to new heights (47 goals) rather than the other way around.
Throughout his career thus far he has always been seen as a driving force, but on the Toronto Maple Leafs he’s seen as the lesser of a one-two punch. People should be talking about Mitch Marner though. He’s a key member of the team’s penalty-killing unit, even adding 3 shorthanded goals this season.
In fact his defensive read on the game might be worthy of Selke Trophy talk if there weren’t names like the defensively elite Patrice Bergeron already out there.
He’s integral to the powerplay and with his newfound goal scoring, he really is a three-headed monster for the Toronto Maple Leafs and we really should talk about him more.