Toronto Maple Leafs: The Top Six; Then and Now

Comparing the Top Six Forwards of 2017/18 vs 2018/19

During the course of the 2017/18 season we all knew that changes to the Toronto Maple Leafs were coming. With both James Van Riemsdyk and Tyler Bozak becoming Unrestricted Free Agents (UFA) this past summer and the need to resign Restricted Free Agent (RFA) William Nylander, there just wasn’t going to be enough cap space to keep everyone long term. Replacing players like Van Riemsdyk and Bozak was not going to be easy, but I think the Toronto Maple Leafs have done a fine job finding replacements.

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The first thing the Toronto Maple Leafs were able to do this off season was sign the top UFA available in John Tavares. In this one signing the Leafs were able to accomplish two things, 1) Fill the center ice position left by Bozak and 2) Replace the point totals left by Van Riemsdyk. The second thing the Toronto Maple Leafs were able to accomplish was re-signing RFA William Nylander to a new 6 year contract with a cap hit under $7 Million per season. With the addition of John Tavares and the resigning of William Nylander, the Toronto Maple Leafs also promoted two players from within the organization. Those two players are Kasperi Kapanen and Andreas Johnsson.

The following is a detailed look at the Toronto Maple Leafs top six from last season and a look at their current top six this season. Listed are Games Played (GP) Goals (G) Assists (A) and Points (P)


2017/18 Top Six:

Mitch Marner:  GP 82  G 22  A 47  P 69

Auston Matthews:  GP 62  G 34  A 29  P 63

William Nylander:  GP 82  G 20  A 41  P 61

James Van Riemsdyk:  GP 81  G 36  A 18  P 54

Tyler Bozak:  GP 81  G 11  A 32  P 43

Zach Hyman:  GP 82  G 15  A 25  P 40

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2018/19 Top Six:

Mitch Marner:  GP 32  G 6  A 35  P 41    Projected Stats:  GP 82  G 15  A 89  P 104

John Tavares:  GP 32  G 19  A 14  P 33    Projected Stats:  GP 82  G 48  A 36  P 84

Auston Matthews:  GP 18  G 16  A 11  P 27    Projected Stats:  GP 68  G 60  A 41  P 101

Kasperi Kapanen:  GP 32  G 12  A 10  P 22    Projected Stats:  GP 82  G 30  A 25  P 55

Zach Hyman:  GP 30  G 7  A 8  P 15    Projected Stats:  GP 80  G 18  A 21  P 39

Andreas Johnsson:  GP 27  G 7  A 6  P 13   Projected Stats:  GP 77  G 20  A 17  P 37

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Currently William Nylander is not in the top six as he missed 28 games to start the season, but I do believe he’ll be part of the top six after January 1st once his skating and timing are back to normal.

As you can see, the Troronto Maple Leafs top six looks much better this season than it did last season. Almost every player in the top six is projected to set career highs for themselves.


Here is a look at how James Van Riemsdyk and Tyler Bozak are doing so far this season.

James Van Riemsdyk:  GP 13  G 3  A 4  P 7   Projected Stats:  GP 66  G 15  A 20  P 35

Tyler Bozak:  GP 29  G 3  A 8  P 11   Projected Stats:  GP 82  G 8  A 31  P 39


I think it is safe to say that the Toronto Maple Leafs have clearly improved since last season and although the likely hood of each player collecting the full amount of their projected stats is highly unlikely, but it’s still nice to see that they’re improving as a team.


Thanks for reading,

Jeremy Ridgewell


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