The Toronto Maple Leafs are heading into the 2023-24 season with excessive expectations. It’s comprehensible, as they possess a really robust roster led by Auston Matthews, John Tavares, Mitch Marner, and Morgan Rielly. Nonetheless, if the Maple Leafs need to have actual success this upcoming season, they may want different gamers to step up as nicely. That is the case whether or not they simply had a down season or are prime breakout candidates. Listed below are three gamers on their present roster who stand out as wild playing cards.
Joseph Woll must be in a serious place to make an influence for the Maple Leafs in 2023-24. The Maple Leafs are anticipated to transfer on from Matt Murray this summer time, thus opening the door for Woll to be a full-time NHL netminder. The 25-year-old confirmed this previous season that he seems to be able to be within the NHL, and the true query is whether or not or not he’ll be capable to construct on it from right here.
Woll appeared in seven regular-season video games for the Maple Leafs final season, posting a 6-1-0 file, 2.16 goals-against common (GAA), and .932 save proportion (SV%). He then adopted that up with a strong postseason, as his 2.43 GAA and .915 SV% successfully show. If he can sustain comparable play to this with the Maple Leafs in 2023-24, he’ll kind a robust tandem with Ilya Samsonov.
The Maple Leafs will want Woll to show that he’s able to be an impactful NHL goaltender this season. Let’s see how the Missouri native performs from right here, however there actually is purpose for optimism given his play this previous season.
After shedding each Luke Schenn and Justin Holl in free company, it was obvious that the Maple Leafs had been going so as to add at the very least one right-shot defenseman. They did simply that, inking John Klingberg to a one-year, $4.15 million contract. With this transfer, the Maple Leafs have added an offensive defenseman who can deal with top-four minutes. Nonetheless, he additionally has seen his manufacturing dip over the past couple of seasons. That’s one thing he can be trying to change with Toronto in 2023-24.
When wanting on the Maple Leafs’ roster, there may be purpose to consider that Klingberg could make a big effect. In spite of everything, he could have a number of robust offensive weapons to work with like Matthews, Marner, Tavares, Tyler Bertuzzi, and Max Domi. He additionally will see a ton of power-play time, and that, at the very least in idea, ought to result in his manufacturing going again up. But, we might want to wait and see if it does.
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In 67 video games final season break up between the Anaheim Geese and Minnesota Wild, Klingberg had 10 objectives and 33 factors. That was nonetheless first rate manufacturing in what was a down 12 months for the 30-year-old. But, now that he’s becoming a member of a far stronger Maple Leafs squad, let’s see if it’s the spark he must be a much bigger difference-maker.
Naturally, Matthew Knies is a wild card who Maple Leafs followers might want to watch intently this upcoming season. The Maple Leafs prime prospect is gearing up for his first full season within the NHL after leaving a great but in addition quick impression this previous marketing campaign. After posting an help in three regular-season video games, Knies was fairly noticeable within the postseason, recording one aim and 4 factors in seven video games. It was a pleasant begin to the teen’s profession, however now he can be trying to make a big effect in his first full season.
When wanting on the Maple Leafs’ present roster, it’s honest to imagine that Knies can be penciled in on the membership’s third line, possible forming a trio with David Kampf and Calle Jarnkrok. He additionally ought to see time on their energy play, along with his particular function being as a net-front presence. But, if he has a giant 12 months, it could make the Maple Leafs’ roster considerably higher as they give the impression of being to go on a protracted postseason run subsequent 12 months.
Knies has the entire instruments to blossom right into a top-six ahead on the NHL stage, however will that occur this upcoming season, or take a bit extra time? In spite of everything, Knies is barely 20 years previous and has loads of time to hit his full potential. Regardless, we might want to wait and see how a lot of an influence he makes for the Maple Leafs subsequent season.
However, will probably be intriguing to see how a lot of an influence Woll, Klingberg, and Knies make for the Maple Leafs in 2023-24. The potential for them to have spectacular seasons are there, however time will inform what occurs on that entrance.