Tha Sports Junkies 101

Battle of Youth in Toronto

Maple Leafs

NHL

There is little shortage of youth playing in Toronto, but the competition for that top rookie spot is alive and well within the organization.

Auston Matthews, the Toronto Maple Leafs first-overall draft choice of 2016, tops the league in rookie goal scoring, while 2015 first-round draft choice, Mitch Marner, sits atop the league in rookie points.

Monday night, the Leafs hosted the Calgary Flames and topped them with a score of 4-0. Leafs goaltender Frederik Andersen made 26 saves to record his second shutout of the season.

Marner got the Leafs on the board first and would add an assist later on in the game to tally two of his league leading 39 points among rookies, one ahead of Matthews

Matthews stayed silent last night, but still leads the league in rookie goal scoring with 22 goals, one ahead of Winnipeg Jets rookie, Patrik Laine.

Nazem Kadri also tallied two goals in Monday’s game, scoring his 100th career goal.

The rookie race is close as we are midway through the season and for the Maple Leafs, the fact that two of their own are topping the league shows promise for the future.

The Maple Leafs, a team that has not seen a Stanley Cup in the expansion era, last won in 1967. The team has come close a number of times but would come up short. In fact, the club has yet to even appear in a Final since their last victory. The current team and organization gives life to a fan base all too familiar with upsetting seasons.

The new direction of the organization is looking for success and the abilities of Marner and Matthews add a feel of certainty to their search.