The Toronto Maple Leafs ranked sixth in the league last year with a record of 49-26-7 and 105 points. This point total matched the Washington Capitals, who were the 2017-18 Stanley Cup champions. The Leafs made the playoffs in back-to-back seasons.
Additions: At the 2018 draft, the Leafs selected Rasmus Sandin with their first-round pick.
On July 1, the Maple Leafs signed John Tavares (cover photo) to a seven-year deal worth $77 million. Tavares was the biggest unrestricted free agent signing in the NHL this summer. The Leafs also signed Tyler Ennis. The Leafs re-signed Andreas Johnsson, Frederik Gauthier, Connor Carrick, Calvin Pickard, Justin Holl, and Kasimir Kaskisuo.
The returning stars in Toronto this season are Auston Matthews, Mitch Marner, Morgan Rielly, and goalie Frederik Andersen. The kids in Toronto are growing up fast. They are ready to win, and this mentality has only gotten stronger by adding Tavares. Andersen’s presence in the Leaf’s crease has been key to securing Toronto wins.
Travis Dermott and Johnsson are two Leafs to watch for this season. Dermott racked up 13 points in 37 games on the Leafs blueline last year. Meanwhile, Johnsson showed flashes of promise towards the end of the season and during the playoffs.
What to Expect
Toronto’s forward depth is one of the deepest in the NHL. The Tavares addition only increases their amount of firepower. Expect the Leafs to score even more goals than the 270 they managed last year. As their young guns continue to develop, they should only get better. It seems they have found consistent goaltending but their blue line corps may become a concern. Regardless, expect the Toronto Maple Leafs to be Stanley Cup contenders this season.
Cover photo credit: (The Canadian Press)
Billy Morrison covers the NHL’s Atlantic Division for Full Press Coverage. Follow Billy on Twitter @BillyMorrison01.