Toronto Maple Leafs: Matthew Knies Nominated for Award
Toronto Maple Leafs prospect, Matthew Knies, has been nominated for the 2023 Hobey Baker Award. The Hobey Baker is an annual award given to the top NCAA men’s ice hockey player.
Matthew Knies has surpassed Nick Robertson as the Toronto Maple Leafs Top Prospect, and is very much considered to be the team’s current top trade asset.
Knies in his second season with the University of Minnesota. He has 17 goals and 13 assists for 30 points in 28 games this season.
As of February 6th, he was 2nd in the Hobey Baker Award voting with 5.17% of the votes. Jason Polin from Western Michigan University leads with 5.29% of the votes. (Stats from eliteprospects.com)
Since being drafted by the Toronto Maple Leafs in the second round of the 2021 NHL draft, Knies has exploded onto the scene, raising his value with every game he plays. There is a good chance he will join the Leafs at the end of the season once his NCAA season is complete, if he is still on the team. That might all depend on what Toronto general manager Kyle Dubas does at the NHL trade deadline.
Knies being at the top of Toronto’s prospects list could also mean he gets traded by the upcoming NHL trade deadline on March 3rd. Teams like San Jose (Timo Meier) or Arizona (Jakob Chychrun) are seeking a first-round pick plus a top prospect for their highly sought-after players. Dubas has said he is reluctant to trade his first-round pick or Knies. However, he may not have a choice if he wants to land an impact player at the deadline.
Toronto Maple Leafs and Hobey Baker Award Winners
Should Knies find himself as the 2023 Hobey Baker Award winner, he will not be the first winner to pass through the Toronto Maple Leafs organization. Past Hobey Baker Award winners who have recently been in the organization include Jimmy Vesey (2015-16), Adam Gaudette (2017-18), and Dryden McKay (2021-22).
Vesey only spent 30 games with Toronto during the 2020-21 season before being claimed off waivers by the Vancouver Canucks.
Gaudette signed with Toronto in the off-season for one year at $750,000. He has spent his season in the AHL with the Toronto Marlies and has 30 points in 36 games.
McKay won the Hobey Baker Award last season and was signed by Toronto in the off-season. He’s played two games with the Marlies but spent most of his season with the Newfoundland Growlers in the ECHL. McKay has a 12-4-1 record in 18 games for the Growlers with a 3.16 GAA and a .898 SV%.
We will find out soon if Knies can win the 2023 Hobey Baker Award, but for now, fans are waiting to see if he remains within the organization after the NHL trade deadline.