As the 2023-24 season rapidly approaches, so too do multiple Toronto Maple Leafs players on all-time records.
Although it may not seem like it due to the lack of playoff success, this current era of the Toronto Maple Leafs may be the best we have ever seen for the original six franchise.
Time will tell and the history books will not look upon this core fondly if they don’t end the 56 year Stanley Cup drought. However, there are multiple current Leafs players who look to make big gains in the race to smash all-time records.
Currently, the Leafs record books are dominated by players such as Börje Salming, Mats Sundin, Darryl Sittler, and Dave Keon to name a few. In just a short few years time, these names will likely be replaced by the likes of Auston Matthews, Mitch Marner, William Nylander, and Morgan Rielly to name a few. Until that happens, let’s take a look at a few Leafs players who are poised to gain ground on the legends of old.
3 Toronto Maple Leafs Are Closing In On All-Time Records
When controlling for position, Rielly already has a prolific career as a Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman.
Across all blueliners he ranks: Fifth in points, fourth in assists, eighth in goals, and fifth in games played.
There alone by season’s end he will probably rank top-three in both points and assists, barring injury.
However, he also is approaching the all-time games played record of all players. He definitely won’t hit it this year but by the end of his current contract, he very well could be the longest tenured Leaf of all-time. But let’s just focus on this season for now.
Rielly currently sits 14th on the all-time games played list with 719 regular season contests.
At first sits George Armstrong with 1,188. It is mathematically impossible for him to overtake Armstrong at first this season but he could make sizeable gains towards that mark.
The most he could reach by season’s end is 801 which would rank him 11th on the all-time list, supplanting Tie Domi who has 777. If he can play all 82 games and score anywhere near his average, this would be a big season in Rielly’s legacy with the blue and white.
This season could see Marner crack the top-five for all-time Leafs assists leaders.
He currently sits seventh with 386, with the sixth and fifth spots belonging to Armstrong with 417 and Tomas Kaberle with 437, respectively.
This means Marner only has to produce 52 assists to slide into the top-five, a feat he has greatly exceeded each of the past two seasons.
Marner also has the ability to make up a lot of ground in the all-time race for points.
Currently sitting at 554 for 10th all-time, he will likely sit sixth by season’s end. Ron Ellis currently holds that spot with 640, meaning Marner would only have to score 87 points this season to reach that spot.
For context, Marner has exceeded 90 points in each of the last three full seasons he has played. If he can finally break three digits, which has been narrowly evading him the past two seasons, he will have at least 654 points putting him in a great position moving forward as he eyes Sundin’s 987.
In terms of goals, Matthews has the chance to put himself in the top-four in all-time goals leaders for the Leafs. In order to do this he would only have to score 34 to pass Max Ellis, which most people would agree is a walk in the park for the star centre.
The only x-factor for Matthews is his health but even if he does get bit by the injury bug once again, 33 goals is very manageable for him.
A little more pie-in-the-sky is the prospect that Matthews only sits 66 goals behind Dave Keon for third on the all-time list. Considering he hit 60 only a year ago, it’s not entirely impossible, just highly unlikely. What’s most likely is Matthews scores between 40 and 55 goals and will overtake Keon and probably Sittler in 2024-25.
Much like Marner, Matthews sits 11th in all-time Leafs points.
By the end of 2023-24 he likely trails Marner once again but he too could conceivably surpass Ellis and sit seventh in points.
However, his journey would be a little harder having to score 99 points as he currently has 542. The most likely outcome is that he will sit eighth once again, trailing linemate Marner. After inking a new deal a few weeks ago, Matthews has the chance to prove himself as the greatest Maple Leaf ever.
Make no mistake, the goal at the end of the year is a Stanley Cup but, the prospect is very exciting that the Leafs could have multiple players who will go down in the history books as some of the greatest Toronto Maple Leafs of all-time. (stats from quanthockey.com).
Cherish this time as before we all know it, the numbers 34, 16, and 44 will be hanging from the rafters at Scotiabank Arena.