ESPN does Auston Matthews dirty in new top-10 scoring projections

Published August 31, 2023 at 5:00 PM

ESPN recently put out a series of player projections for the NHL season and in terms of points leaders, there's a puzzling omission within their top-10 in Toronto Maple Leafs forward Auston Matthews.

Recently crowned the highest paid athlete in the sport - though his new contract doesn't kick in until the next year - Matthews was omitted from a top-10 list that includes the usual suspects in Connor McDavid, Leon Draisaitl, and Nathan MacKinnon. However, included in the mix that missed out in 2022-23 are Jack Hughes and Mitch Marner.

McDavid is supposed to pace the league with 148 points, followed by his running mate in Draisaitl with 129 pionts. Next, per ESPN's projections is Elias Pettersson, who they have rounding out the top-3 with 116 points. After that it's Matthew Tkachuk (112), Jason Robertson (108), Jack Hughes (107), Nikita Kucherov (107), Nathan MacKinnon (106), David Pastrnak (105), and Mitch Marner (102).

Matthews posted 106 points just two seasons ago. The only possible reason Matthews was left off of the list is due to health concerns. Matthews battled multiple injuries last season, including injuries to his wrist, knee and back/oblique. Nevertheless, the goal-scoring machine scored 60 goals in just 73 games in 2021-22 and has 257 points in 199 games across his last 3 seasons for a points per game total of 1.29, which would put him at 106 points in a full season. Matthews has finished top-10 in points league-wide in 3 successive seasons between 2019-20 and 2021-22.

If Marner is to reach 102 points, one would have to imagine that Matthews will be right there with him, as the pair form one of the most dangerous and lethal dynamic duos in the league. But hey, at least ESPN included a Maple Leaf in their projected top-10 list.

August 31   |   279 answers
ESPN does Auston Matthews dirty in new top-10 scoring projections

Will Auston Matthews finish in the top 10 in points in the 2023-24 season?

Absolutely19168.5 %
No, I don't think so6322.6 %
Top 10?? More like top 5!259 %
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