With so many recent top draft picks just now reaching the NHL as part of their massive rebuild, the Toronto Maple Leafs have one of the youngest rosters in the league this season.
Through the first two games of the 2016-17 season, those rookies have carried the Maple Leafs’ offense as part of their 1-0-1 start. Those young players have played such a big role that each of the team’s first six goals this season were scored by rookies, something that had never been done in the NHL’s post-expansion era according to Elias Sports.
Those six goals included all four goals scored by No. 1 overall pick Auston Matthews in the Maple Leafs’ season opening 5-4 overtime loss to the Ottawa Senators, and the two goals scored by Connor Brown and Mitch Marner (on a beautiful play) to open their 4-1 win over the Boston Bruins on Saturday night.
It has been a rough decade for the Maple Leafs with only one playoff appearance since 2005-06, but this recent rebuild, which has seen the organization get torn down to the foundation and completely rebuilt with a truckload full of draft picks, has brought a ton of fresh young talent and hope to the organization and the fanbase.
It has only been two games, but so far the young talent has been shining this season.