TSN Insider Delivers Bold Prediction on Matthew Knies' Upcoming Season

Mark Parsons
September 28, 2023  (1:21 PM)

The Toronto Maple Leafs have had limited breakout prospects in recent drafts.

Since Matthews was drafted in 2016, not many draftees have stood out, but Matthew Knies may be about to buck that trend.

High Hopes For Knies

Knies is expected to play with the Leafs this season and has the potential to shine. Mike Johnson, a guest analyst on TSN 1050, was asked to compare Knies to Juraj Slafkovsky, the Montreal Canadiens' 1st overall pick in 2022.
Johnson believes Knies will have a standout season, far surpassing Slafkovsky.
"Oh, I don't think it's even close - I think it's Matthew Knies. I mean, I think he's just further along... Slafkovsky scored a goal last night in the exhibition game, but he's just not there yet. He doesn't make enough happen, he's not quite clean enough with the puck. He can shoot it, when he has time, but he just doesn't get himself around it and the team's no good, so he doesn't have people providing him with service, whereas Matthew Knies is the opposite where he's on a very good team, he gets support - but he's so much better with the puck in tight spaces.

I think Matthew Knies will have a very good season this year. I don't know if he's going to have a better career [than Slafkovsky], I don't think Montreal would trade Slafkovsky for Knies straight up, but I think this year coming up, I'd be very surprised if Matthew Knies wasn't more productive [and would have a] better season than whatever Slafkovsky puts forward."

Matthews, Marner, Knies?

If paired with top players like Matthews or Tavares, Knies could not only overshadow Slafkovsky but also be in the running for the Calder Trophy, awarded to the NHL's top rookie.
This projection paints a promising picture for the Leafs and their fans for the upcoming season.