The 5 Best Toronto Maple Leafs Free Agent Signings in the Auston Matthews Era

Who were the Leafs most significant free agent signings that paid off in the past decade?
Toronto Maple Leafs v Edmonton Oilers
Toronto Maple Leafs v Edmonton Oilers / Codie McLachlan/GettyImages
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John Tavares

Of course, there was the biggest free agent signing in this part of the century when the Toronto Maple Leafs brought home John Tavares with hopes to take the team to another level.

After all he had done with the New York Islanders where he regularly made serviceable players into stars, the Leafs believed that he would flourish even more with the Toronto team full of skilled players on the roster.

Well, Tavares didn’t exactly become the next Sidney Crosby or Connor McDavid as a result of the move, but he did maintain his usual point-a-game output throughout his tenure so far with the Leafs.

On top of that, players such as Mitch Marner and William Nylander did end up having some great success playing with him. In addition, by anchoring a top line of his own, he constantly gave the team two potent scoring lines (with Matthews manning the other) as a result.

In 440 games with the Leafs, Tavares has registered 184 goals, 235 assists for 419 points.

He was also a force on the power play, with 60 of his goals and 137 of his points coming with the man advantage. More importantly, without Tavares and his OT winner against the Tampa Bay Lightning in the 2023 playoffs, the Leafs would still have the dubious record of consecutive first-round playoff exits intact.

So as much as he has been scrutinized for not leading the team to the Holy Grail yet, his overall output and contributions that he has provided the team have at least been significant to say the least.