Toronto Maple Leafs: Bet On Auston Matthews Bouncing Back

TORONTO, CANADA - JANUARY 19: Auston Matthews #34 of the Toronto Maple Leafs celebrates his 2nd goal of the game against the Winnipeg Jets during an NHL game at Scotiabank Arena on January 19, 2023 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images)
TORONTO, CANADA - JANUARY 19: Auston Matthews #34 of the Toronto Maple Leafs celebrates his 2nd goal of the game against the Winnipeg Jets during an NHL game at Scotiabank Arena on January 19, 2023 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images) /
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It’s no secret last season was a bit of a down year for Toronto Maple Leafs superstar Auston Matthews.

After putting up a whopping 60 goals and 106 points in 2021-22, which won him the Rocket Richard, the Hart Trophy and the Ted Lindsay Trophy, the Toronto Maple Leafs best player regressed last season.

He still put up a solid 40 goals and 85 points (stats: nhl.com), but for his lofty standards, his production was a bit lower than expected. It was reported that Matthews played with a wrist injury for most of last season, but even still, people expected more.

However, Auston Matthews is arguably the best player in Toronto Maple Leafs franchise history, and I have no doubt in my mind he can bounce back next year.

 Toronto Maple Leafs: Bet On Auston Matthews Bouncing Back

As mentioned before, Auston Matthews played with a nagging wrist injury for most of last season, which clearly hindered his ability to put the puck in the net. His signature wrist shot was not used nearly as much as before.

But even with that, he still put up 40 goals in 74 games. The fact he did that with an injury shows he still should be considered one of the best players in the entire league.

Now that he’s had more time to heal, it’s almost a guarantee he’ll be back to the form that won him 2 Rocket Richard trophies.

On top of this, Matthews is in a contract year.

If Matthews scores 60 goals again next season, there’s no doubt he’ll be the highest-paid player in the entire NHL.

We’ve seen players in the past (Nazem Kadri, for example) have their best seasons in their careers come during contract years, earning themselves a huge pay day. There is no reason not to expect the same with Matthews.

He is a determined hockey player, and he wants to get paid, and nothing is going to stop him from earning as much as he can.

In short, I expect Matthews to get at minimum, 55 goals next season and 105 points.

He should be going 3rd overall in most fantasy drafts behind Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl, and who knows, maybe I’m underestimating Matthews here.

Betting on Matthews to bounce back may be one of the easiest bets of all time, and he’ll be looking for that pay increase.

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He’s going to be a treat to watch next season, and he will once again be in the conversation for the Hart Trophy.