Auston Matthews Is the Greatest Toronto Maple Leafs Player Ever

Auston Matthews #34 of the Toronto Maple Leafs celebrates a goal (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images)
Auston Matthews #34 of the Toronto Maple Leafs celebrates a goal (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images) /

Auston Matthews is the greatest Toronto Maple Leafs player, ever. Possibly a controversial statement to some, but now, there is no denying it.

At the NHL awards show Tuesday night, the Toronto Maple Leafs franchise player cleaned up, collecting the Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophy, the Hart Memorial Trophy, and the Ted Lindsay Award. He was also named a first team all-star.

Matthews is the first Leaf to ever capture the Ted Lindsay Award and is the first to win the Hart since Ted Kennedy in 1954-55.

Not only did he score the most goals but both the journalists that cover the sport, and his fellow peers felt he was the best player this past season. Truly an unbelievable accomplishment.

In his short career so far, Matthews has been a dominant force. In 407 games he’s scored 259 goals, and 198 assists for 457 points. This puts him 10th in points over that span and first in goals. On top of this, he’s collected many accolades (some as named above) and set multiple franchise records.  (stats

The Greatest Toronto Maple Leafs Player Ever

In 2016, to celebrate 100 years of the organization’s existence, the Leafs released a top-100 list which named the 100 greatest players to wear the blue and white.

The organization named Dave Keon as the greatest of all-time with Syl Apps, Ted Kennedy, Darryl Sittler, and Mats Sundin rounding out the top-five.

Besides only three of these players winning a Stanley Cup no one has won more awards than Matthews and he’s just getting started. The total list of accolades is here below:

So far, Matthews has won eight awards in only six seasons. The closest comparable players are Dave Keon, who won six in his 15 seasons as a Leaf. Syl Apps, who won seven in his 10 seasons as a Leaf. Ted Kennedy, who won four in his 14 seasons in the NHL (all as a Leaf).

Now, you can make the argument that there are more awards today than there were in those eras, which is true. However, none of them would have won a statistical award either throughout their careers.

This also doesn’t include that he’s been voted as a top-10 Lady Byng candidate six times, top-10 Hart trophy candidate three times (winning once), and consistently getting Frank J. Selke votes. There has never been a Toronto Maple Leaf as dominant and as widely recognized as a top player in league history.

Looking past individual awards, Matthews is already 15th in Toronto Maple Leafs all-time points. He’s two away from tying 13th place with Lanny McDonald’s 459 points, while playing 70 less games.

He also ranks ninth in goals in Leafs history, sitting one away from Wendel Clark in 201 less games. Unless he faces a devastating career ending injury, or decides to sign elsewhere, Matthews will likely hold both of these records by the time his career is over.

Matthews also holds plenty of Maple Leafs individual records.

He holds both the goals and points records amongst rookies, with 40 and 69 respectively. He also holds the single-season goals record with 60, and shots with 348.

He’s also the active holder in multiple categories like: Points, Goals, Powerplay goals, Game winning goals, Overtime goals, Hat tricks, Plus/minus, and shots. It’s possible that he even adds a few more by the time he’s retired.

Next. Matthews Scores the Trophy Hattrick. dark

Auston Matthews is the best Toronto Maple Leafs player of all time.  The Hart Trophy just cements it.