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2023 Fantasy Hockey Team Preview: Toronto Maple Leafs

The Toronto Maple Leafs are going to be very good this season. They are the next team we are covering in the 2023 Fantasy Hockey Team Preview series. They have had the misfortune of being stuck in a division with some of the best regular-season teams of all time. But this appears like it could be their year to take the division. There is tons of fantasy value coming out of Toronto for you to capitalize on.

The Maple Leafs can score and defend, making a lot of the players solid choices throughout the draft. There’s elite talent at each position, lots of power-play implications, and different players who will benefit from their spots in the lineup. With the expected success of the Maple Leafs, players should gain even more value. Now let’s dive into each position and the fantasy value you can expect from players in Toronto this season.

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Toronto Maple Leafs Fantasy Hockey Preview

Maple Leafs Forwards

As always, there’s the core four of the Maple Leafs that get drafted high in fantasy every year for a reason. They can all play at point-per-game paces and are power-play performers. I don’t think anything will change, even with John Tavares slowing down a tad. He still put up 36 goals and 80 points last season and should have William Nylander and another skilled winger flanking him. Whoever gets that spot will definitely benefit, but we’ll get into that player soon enough. First, the top line.

The top line of the Maple Leafs is more set in stone and will all be very fantasy-relevant. Auston Matthews and Mitch Marner are first/second-round picks in any format and can both reach 100 points this season. Their linemate, Tyler Bertuzzi, will get a huge boost as well. He struggled with the Detroit Red Wings then played great after the trade to the Boston Bruins in the regular season and playoffs. Think Michael Bunting, but more points this season.

Now, back to the second-line winger. The Maple Leafs have two choices and it’s going to be a difficult one. It is between Max Domi and Matthew Knies. Both proved last season they are top-six talents. Knies did so in the playoffs, scoring four points in seven games, while Domi led the Blackhawks in points despite playing just 60 games for them. He was even their number-one center and looked good in the role. The most likely outcome is they will both get time in the top six and benefit greatly when they do. Knies is part of the future, but Domi is more experienced. That experience could help even out the lines if he starts on the third. Either way, Knies and Domi are fantasy-relevant players. If your draft is closer to the start of the season, keep an eye on who’s playing with Tavares and Nylander.

The final relevant forward in fantasy on the Maple Leafs is Calle Jarnkrok. He put up 20 goals and 39 points in 73 games last season but is only a dark horse to play in the top six. He will likely be stuck on the third line and max out at the goals and points he got last season.

Maple Leafs Defensemen

There are two different groups you can categorize the Maple Leafs’ defensemen into. Morgan Rielly and John Klingberg are definitely relevant in fantasy because of their offense, but some others will help out in other areas. These defensively-focused players will still be able to benefit from the offense of the team and add some points here and there. Jake McCabe is the most valuable after the two offensive defensemen. But Timothy Liljegren and Mark Giordano are deeper options.

Related: 2023 Fantasy Hockey Team Preview: Tampa Bay Lightning

The power play will dictate a lot about the value of Rielly and Klingberg. Rielly is the normal option on the top unit and whoever is there will rack up points. We saw him and Tyson Barrie split time on the top unit a few years ago when that was an option. Klingberg is a power-play specialist and can produce when given the chance. The second power-play unit is looking pretty dangerous, so only lack of ice time will really negate the goals here.

Maple Leafs Goalies

There is one clear pick when it comes to the Maple Leafs goaltending, and that’s Ilya Samsonov. He had a very good season in 2022-23, winning 27 of 40 games played. On top of that, his save percentage was .919, and goals against average was 2.33, with four shutouts. He is without a doubt the starter and should be valued as a top-10 goaltender in the league. Behind him is a bit of a toss-up right now. Samsonov will play more games if he stays healthy, but in the case that he isn’t, the backup in Toronto will gain a ton of value.

Joseph Woll and Martin Jones will duel it out in preseason for that honor. Woll looked good for the Maple Leafs when he got the chance last season and even got into playoff games. Jones, on the other hand, took over the net in Seattle for a big portion of the season. His numbers weren’t great, but he got the job done. Once again, pay attention in preseason to who looks like they’re coming away with the backup job.

The Maple Leafs are going to be a very fun team to watch, and it is only better if you have players in fantasy from the team. They are going to be a high-scoring team and lots of players will benefit. Don’t miss out on some valuable players in Toronto who will surely help any fantasy roster gain the advantage. Next up in the 2023 Fantasy Hockey Team Preview series is the Arizona Coyotes.

Make sure to check out all of our Fantasy Hockey Team Previews as they roll out over the coming weeks!

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