There remain a ton of questions before the Toronto Maple Leafs get their team together for the 2023-24 season. Regardless of what players round out the team, it looks to be another exciting season. Given the make up of the players and the firepower – both from last season and newly added – it would have to be a disaster if the team did not make the postseason.

The bones of this Maple Leafs squad is just too good.

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There Remain Questions About What Maple Leafs Will Show Up Well

Given the team’s resume, fans know pretty much what to expect from most of the players. But there’s at least one player who remains a mystery. That’s top prospect, Matthew Knies.

Knies burst on the scene quickly after signing with the Maple Leafs last season. His start with the team was strong but brief. Given his positive impression – even during his limited games in last season’s playoffs (an impressive one goal and four points until he was injured against the Florida Panthers) – Knies is preparing to hit the ground running.

Matthew Knies, Maple Leafs

There’s no doubting the youngster’s potential. But how bright will his talent shine? Will he be penciled in as a top-six forward this season; or, will he start on the third line and then move up as his full potential becomes realized?

Maple Leafs’ Fans Have Had a Glimpse of Knies’ Talent

Knies has already shown Maple Leafs fans a glimpse of his talent. Fuhermore, given that this performance came during the postseason, he’s proven he can handle the pressure of high-stakes games. Still, given the makeup of current Maple Leafs’ roster, it would seem more likely that Knies will start on the team’s third line. That is unless he completely wows the coaching staff during the preseason.

If he does start on the third line, he’ll be partnered with David Kampf and Calle Jarnkrok. Which, if I think about it, is not a bad trio. Kampf is a defensive specialist and Jarnkrok is also adept at playing a 200-foot game. Knies will provide the dynamic offensive play. In fact, Knies could bring a healthy dose of firepower to the team’s bottom six.

In addition, if he were to be put on the second unit of the power play, his net-front presence would be another factor that could help the Maple Leafs’ performance and give them a lethal offensive edge.

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Knies Will Be Chasing His Potential This Season

Knies has all the tools he needs to become a top-six forward at the NHL level. However, he’s just 20 years old. That gives him, with experience, more time to refine his skills and mature as a player. Look for the Maple Leafs organization to shelter his minutes a bit as a way to give him the support and guidance he needs to shape his potential.

If he continues as he started, Knies will become an impact who could help the team engage a long postseason run. He showed last season that he wasn’t awed by the bright lights either of playing in Toronto or during the pressure of the playoffs.

If Knies continues, he might even have a breakout season. The young forward could elevate both his own performance and the team’s overall performance. All that points to secondary scoring, which was something the team lacked during the playoffs. He has the ability to score crucial goals and make plays.

Could he be the X-factor the team needs to go deep into the postseason?

The Bottom Line

As the 2023-24 season nears, fans will be watching Knies to see if he can live up to the potential he seems to bring the Maple Leafs. There’s no doubt that he’s a talented forward with a ton of promise.

But the jury remains out about whether he could become a top-flight star. He’ll begin that journey this coming season. Regardless of the season’s immediate outcome, Knies has what it takes.

If the Maple Leafs are going to push further into the playoffs this season, one reason might be Knies. It will be fun to watch his progression.

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