We continue today our preview of the 2016-2017 NHL season with a team from the atlantic division : The Toronto Maple Leafs !
Head coach : Mike Babcock (2nd season)
Assistants coaches : Jim Hiller, D.J Smith, Andrew Brewer.
Goaltending coach : Steve Briere.
General Manager : Lou Lamoriello (2nd season)
Last season record : 29-42-11 = 69 points (16th in Eastern Conference, 8th in Atlantic Division, 30th in NHL)
2015-2016 summary : The Maple Leafs were the worst team in the NHL in 2015-2016. The team finished last in almost all of the categories. (28th in goals for, 27th in goals against, 30th for home record and 27th for away record.) The Leafs cleary said at the beginning of the season that they were a club in rebuilting and the fans must be patient. This is exactly what happen for the Leafs. However, some players found a way to stand out for Toronto during this tough year. PA Parenteau, Leo Komarov, Morgan Rielly and young William Nylander all had good season for TO and the Leafs would have been even worse without their success. We cannot say the same thing for goalie Jonathan Bernier, Joffrey Lupul, James Van Riemsdyk and Tyler Bozak who all had a terrible season for the Maple Leafs. With a season like that, the Maple Leafs had the unique chance to have the first pick at the 2016 NHL draft and they select Auston Matthews who should help the Leafs to be better next season...
2016-2017 season preview : Better days are coming for the Toronto Maple Leafs in 2016-2017 ! With the addition of Auston Matthews and the emergence of young players like William Nylander, Mitch Marner and Nikita Zaitsev, the Leafs should be better this season. However, this team is still in rebuilting mode and they have a lot of work to do before thinking at the playoffs. They don't really improve their lineup this summer beside the addition of goalie Frederick Andersen and fourth liner Matt Martin. Andersen will be the number one goalie that the Leafs desire since a long time and Martin will be a nice addition to the bottom six. However, the Leafs will count a lot on Auston Matthews and their young players to win some games in 2016-2017. Matthews will be a star for Toronto and in the NHL, but maybe not in his first season. The Maple Leafs will gave him a lot of ice time and that should help him to adapt quickly to the NHL, but do not expect miracles from Matthews and the Leafs in 2016-2017. They will be better, but still far away from a playoffs spot.
Projected rank for the Toronto Maple Leafs in 2016-2017 : 15th in Eastern Conference, 8th in Atlantic Division = 75 points
Projection for some players :
Auston Matthews : 25 goals and 45 points
Tyler Bozak : 15 goals and 40 points
James Van Riemsdyk : 30 goals and 60 points
Nazem Kadri : 20 goals and 50 points
Morgan Rielly : 12 goals and 40 points
William Nylander: 20 goals and 40 points
Frederick Andersen : 22 wins
Garret Sparks: 12 wins
Projected lines for the Toronto Maple Leafs :
1st line : James Van Riemsdyk- Auston Matthews- William Nylander
2nd line : Leo Komarov- Nazem Kadri- Mitch Marner
3rd line : Milan Michalek- Tyler Bozak- Zach Hyman
4th line : Matt Martin- Peter Holland- Connor Brown
1st defense pairing : Morgan Rielly- Nikita Zaitsev
2nd defense pairing : Jake Gardiner- Matt Hunwick
3rd defense pairing : Martin Marincin- Roman Polak
Goalies : Frederick Andersen- Garett Sparks
There you have it for the 2016-2017 season preview of the Toronto Maple Leafs ! Please don't forget to comments, answer the little survey below and subscribe to my blog :)