The post Is Maple Leafs Mitch Marner As Valuable As He Once Was? appeared first on NHL Trade Talk.

Although there’s a ton of talk about trading Mitch Marner, the one question that seems seldom asked is whether the Toronto Maple Leafs forward still holds value as one of the top wingers in the league despite his underwhelming playoff performances?

Related: What Shanahan Has Done Right as Maple Leafs President

Marner Is Good, But He Isn’t Matthews

First, I have to admit I am an unabashed Marner fan. But I agree he is not on the same level as Auston Matthews. Matthews is a generational player and arguably the best goal scorer in the Maple Leafs’ history. Marner is far from that. I also agree that he is overpaid, in my estimation, by about a million to a million and a half dollars. The fourth thing I agree with is that Marner has underperformed in the playoffs. 

Mitch Marner injury update Maple Leafs

But Marner is not alone in that aspect. I don’t know of a player in the Maple Leafs Core Five who has consistently performed well in the postseason. Everyone has had certain games in which they have shined and a series where they have played well, but I don’t feel you can consider any of them to be playoff performers. 

Looking at Marner’s Numbers During the Postseason

As much as Marner underperformed in the playoffs, he is still the only active player on the Maple Leafs roster to score 50 points in his combined postseason games. Here’s a look at his statistics, along with the other members of the team’s Core Five.

Player

Games Played

Goals

Assists

Points

Mitch Marner

57

11

39

50

Auston Matthews

55

23

25

48

William Nylander

54

20

23

43

Morgan Rielly

57

11

29

40

John Tavares

38

12

12

24

On the Maple Leafs’ all-time scoring list, Marner is 12th, Matthews is 14th, Nylander is 17th, Rielly is 20th, and Tavares is tied for 38th. 

If we break down the Maple Leafs all-time list into points per game played, we find the following:

Player

Games Played

Points

Points Per Game

Doug Gilmour

52

77

1.48

Darryl Sittler

64

65

1.02

Mats Sundin

77

70

0.90

Mitch Marner

57

50

0.88

Auston Matthews

55

48

0.87

William Nylander

54

43

0.80

Gary Roberts

50

40

0.80

Wendel Clark

79

61

0.77

Ted Kennedy

78

60

0.77

Syl Apps

69

53

0.77

Note: This information from Quanthockey.com

Marner ranks fourth in the Maple Leafs’ history in points per game played, followed by Matthews in fifth and Nylander in sixth. He has done all of that while “underperforming.” 

Production-Wise, Marner Had a Poor 2024 Playoffs

I agree that Marner had a miserable 2024 playoffs production-wise. He scored just one goal and added two assists for three points in seven games. Could he have been injured?

Marner doesn’t have a ton of straight-line speed as a skater. He excels in his edges, changing direction, deking out opposing players, and creating space with his hands. In the Boston series, he looked like he was doing everything in slow motion. I couldn’t help but wonder if the high ankle sprain he suffered late in the season had anything to do with that.

However, he could still utilize his biggest strengths: his hands and pinpoint passing. He set up several scoring chances, but these chances did not result in goals. This was not a good playoff for him production-wise. There is a good chance he was not 100% for the postseason. He was not asked about that, and I will get to it.

In the 2023 playoffs, Marner led the Maple Leafs in points with 14 in 11 games. He had 11 points in the first-round win over the Tampa Bay Lightning. All of the above shows that Marner has performed in the playoffs. He is 27 years old and has many prime years left. I see no reason to expect him not to perform in the playoffs in the future.

The Bottom Line: Marner Will Be Seen by Other Teams as Having Huge Value

All the talk of the Maple Leafs losing on any Marner trade might be incorrect. Given his success in the regular season (always around 100 points, with the potential for more), it would seem likely that other teams would be willing to take a chance on him.

If Marner would be willing to move, the Maple Leafs might fetch a hefty return for him.

Related: Next Coach for Maple Leafs Faces a Huge Offensive Challenge

  

The post Is Maple Leafs Mitch Marner As Valuable As He Once Was? appeared first on NHL Trade Talk.

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