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Toronto Maple Leafs 2023-24 NHL Season Preview

Toronto Maple Leafs

Toronto Maple Leafs
Just how good are the Toronto Maple Leafs entering the 2023-24 NHL Season? It is time to preview the team! (Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports)

Toronto Maple Leafs 2023-24 NHL Season Preview

The Toronto Maple Leafs finally did it! By it I mean won a playoff series. Now it’s time to actually advance and go win the cup. We all know this core is good enough to do it. They just have a habit of floundering when it really counts. Heading into the 2023-24 NHL Season, let’s preview what to expect from the Leafs this season.

Line Combination (Combinations Obtained via DailyFaceoff.com)

Toronto Maple Leafs
(Daily Faceoff)
Toronto Maple Leafs
(Daily Faceoff)

Not pictured are the two goalies Ilya Samsonov and Joseph Woll. The core four remains in tact. Some of the pieces around the roster have been tinkered. If we’re being honest about it, this Leafs team may be the best version of itself since the core four has been assembled.

New Faces

Brad Treliving is the new head honcho in Toronto and he did a hell of a job this offseason. Treliving was aggressive adding Tyler Bertuzzi, Ryan Reaves, John Klingberg, and Max Domi. Bertuzzi and Domi should give much needed grit and underrated playmaking on the wing. Reaves is the sandpaper at the bottom of the rotation. Klingberg is apparently getting first crack at the number one PP unit. How does that affect Morgan Rielly? We’ll see…

Three Players To Watch

  • William Nylander

The word on the street is Nylander is going to play some center this year. How is that going to work out? He’s a fantastic player but I’m eager to see if Toronto is serious about that line change. The lines above do not show Nylander at center. I’m sure Sheldon Keefe will move things around often as he does every year.

  • Auston Matthews

Did you know Auston Matthews led the NHL in blocked shots last year by all forwards? It happened. Now he’s going to play on the penalty kill. What’s that going to look like? Matthews was also dealing with a nagging injury last year and his production slipped. I’m going to say it was *only* 40 goals but the guy had 60 the season prior. The shooting percentage also slipped to a career worst mark. I think we see a better Matthews this year.

  • Mitch Marner

We know Marner is a great player but his game hasn’t translated to the playoffs. Which should be viewed as weird for a guy that’s been dominated for the Selke. Treliving could be looking to shake up this roster and Marner could be on the move if the Leafs fail again. Is this the last ride for Marner? Last year it was 99 points for Marner. He will look to crack 100 for the first time in his career this year.

Biggest Riser

It has to be Matthew Knies, right? Knies, the former Minnesota product, fared well during his first taste of NHL action a season ago. Knies posted four points in seven playoff games a season ago and never looked out of place. There is a ton of competition at the left wing spot. Can Knies trump Bertuzzi and Domi while taking over the top spot? I wouldn’t rule it out.

Biggest Faller

John Klingberg has to be the biggest faller. He just has a chance to right the sins of the past this year. Klingberg turned down a long term deal with the Stars for a high AAV with the Ducks last year. He gambled and lost big time. Klingberg is arguably the worst defenseman in the sport and played terrible in Anaheim. Klingberg will obviously have more support in Toronto and can move the puck. Klingberg was a -28 last year with the Ducks posting 24 points in 50 games. It was a huge downward spiral compared to the guy we saw in Dallas. We’ll see if he can get back on track with the Leafs.

The Biggest Question Is…

It’s the same question as always. Is the blue line good enough? Rielly and Klingberg are terrible defenders. Brodie can defend but can’t do anything else. Mark Giordano is 800 years old. Jake McCabe didn’t exactly light the world on fire. Until they fix it, I’m not sure this team can ever be good enough to lift the cup.


I like the Leafs’ chances this year. We know this team will be in the mix and get their fair share of wins during the regular season. It’s a matter of if they get the job done come postseason time. With Toronto, I think it’s best if we take the we’ll believe it when we see it approach.

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