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31 in 31

Toronto Maple Leafs key statistics

Young scorers lead way; Tavares can make strong power play even better

by Rob Vollman / Correspondent is providing in-depth analysis for each of its 31 teams throughout August. Today, three key statistics for the Toronto Maple Leafs.


[Maple Leafs 31 IN 31: Season preview | 3 Questions | Top prospects | Fantasy breakdown]


1. Youth movement

The Maple Leafs relied on their younger players for scoring last season.

Forward Mitchell Marner, who turned 21 on May 5, led Toronto with 69 points (22 goals, 47 assists) in 82 games. Forward Auston Matthews, who will turn 21 on Sept. 17, was second with 63 points (34 goals, 29 assists) in 62 games. That gave the Maple Leafs 132 points (56 goals, 76 assists) from players 20 or younger, which led the NHL.

Forward William Nylander, who turned 22 on May 1, was third on the Maple Leafs with 61 points (20 goals, 41 assists) in 82 games. Add defenseman Travis Dermott, 21, who had 13 points (one goal, 12 assists) in 37 games, and forward Kasperi Kapanen, who turned 22 on July 23 and scored nine points (seven goals, two assists) in 38 games, and the Maple Leafs got 215 points (84 goals, 131 assists) from players 21 or younger, an NHL high.

Video: Discussing the analytics of Tavares and Matthews


2. Power-play depth

The Maple Leafs had a power-play percentage of 25 percent last season, which was second to the Pittsburgh Penguins (26.2 percent). In 2016-17, Toronto's power-play percentage was 23.8 percent, which ranked second to the Buffalo Sabres (24.5 percent). This is an improvement from their performance in 2015-16, when the Maple Leafs ranked 29th with a power-play percentage of 15.4 percent.

Toronto's goal is to spread the scoring evenly over two power-play units. Over the past two seasons, Marner had 48 points (12 goals, 36 assists), forward James van Riemsdyk had 39 (17 goals, 22 assists), Nylander had 38 (14 goals, 24 assists), forward Nazem Kadri had 36 (24 goals, 12 assists), Matthews had 34 (13 goals, 21 assists), and forward Tyler Bozak had 31 (10 goals, 21 assists). Defensemen Morgan Rielly had 30 points (two goals, 28 assists) and Jake Gardiner had 28 (three goals, 25 assists).

The Maple Leafs will receive a boost from forward John Tavares, who led the New York Islanders with 48 power-play points (19 goals, 29 assists) over the past two seasons, but Toronto lost van Riemsdyk to the Philadelphia Flyers and Bozak to the St. Louis Blues as free agents.

Video: How will Toronto handle all their talented centers?


3. Tough season for Tavares

Tavares was on the ice for 114 goals against with the Islanders last season, the only forward in the NHL who was over 100. That was up from 73 goals in 2016-17, which was tied for 22nd among forwards.

His previous NHL high of 78 goals against was set in 2011-12.

The 114 is the second-highest total for a forward in the past 20 seasons, behind Mark Recchi, who was on the ice for 119 goals against for the Pittsburgh Penguins and Carolina Hurricanes in 2005-06.

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