William Nylander Succeeding Under Auston Matthews' Shadow

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The Toronto Maple Leafs have the best goal scorer in the NHL and his name is Auston Matthews. When a team has a player like Matthews, who could become the first player in three decades to score 70 goals, other players will surely fall under that player's shadow. This is the case for Leafs winger William Nylander.

The Toronto Maple Leafs are blessed with a group of talented goal-scorers. As of Thursday morning, Matthews is leading the team with 66 goals and 104 points, but Nylander is not that far behind him. Nylander has 40 goals and 56 assists for 96 points. However, due to all the attention Matthews is getting while he chases 70 goals, Nylander has quietly registered 40 goals for the second straight season. (All stats from hockey-reference.com)

Nylander is 14th in the NHL in goals scored and 10th overall in points. Those are pretty impressive stats and should not go unnoticed. The Leafs are third in the NHL for goals scored with 288. Matthews and Nylander (combined) have 106 of those goals. That equals 36.8% of the Leafs offense this season.

The Leafs could finish the season tied with the Colorado Avalanche as the only two teams to finish the 2023-24 regular season with two players at or above 40 goals and 100 points. Nathan MacKinnon (51 goals, 137 points) and Mikko Rantanen (40 goals, 102 points) represent the Avalanche. Nylander needs four points in three games to reach 100 points to form a pair with Matthews to represent the Leafs.

Toronto Maple Leafs Future with Nylander and Matthews

The Leafs have Matthews under contract until the end of the 2027-28 season, and Nylander until the end of the 2031-32 season. Nylander may end up always being under Matthews' shadow, but if he keeps producing like he is right now, that won't seem to be a problem for him.

Scoring goals will not be an issue for the Leafs anytime soon. (Contract info from capfriendly.com)

One thing that makes their accomplishments this season stand out is that the two of them hardly play together. Each spends most of their time on a different line except when they are together on the power-play.

As part of the Leafs core group, fans expect a lot from them. Nylander has greatly improved his game over the last two seasons and is solidifying himself as a legitimate 40-goal scorer.


The future is bright for Nylander and Matthews. I think they both still have another level they can get to. I hope fans will realize how great these two are and enjoy having them both on the Leafs at the same time.