Five Leafs players among those voted ''most over-rated'' by fans in recent survey

Published January 14, 2022 at 7:47 PM
BY MIKE ARMENTI
Let's just get this out of the way right away; the Toronto Maple Leafs are the most talked-about team in hockey. I think we can all agree on that. It doesn't seem to matter whether you're a Leafs fan, a Habs fan, a Bruins fan, a Sens fan, an Oilers fan or a fan of every other team - when the Leafs come up in conversation (and they often do), everyone has an opinion.

During a recent survey, conducted by JFreshHockey, fans had a chance to vote on who they feel are the most over-rated players in the NHL, and surprise surprise, the Leafs have 5 players among them.

Topping the list is, you probably guessed it, Mitch Marner at number one in the forwards category. Marner has been marked by fans from just about every market, even in Leafs Nation, over his very tough contract negotiations that had ultimately led to him landing a 6-year deal, worth $10.893M per season (since bumped to $10.903M, thanks to a recent increase in the league minimum salary).

Marner ultimately went from elite young forward prospect with a bright future to public enemy number one for taking his team to the cleaners and failing to produce when it matters most, in the postseason. While his talent level and promise as a young player has not changed, the public perception of him sure has.


In addition to Marner, John Tavares made the list of over-rated forwards at #5 and Auston Matthews landed at #8. While you can certainly make a case for why Marner is overrated based on his salary vs the salary of some of his closest comparables, you probably can't make the same argument for Matthews and Tavares - both of whom play a tougher position, and they've both lived up to their deals to this point, as far as I'm concerned.

In the defense column, Morgan Rielly landed at #7 after signing an 8-year, $60M contract extension back in October, with the former 5th overall pick set to earn $7.5M per season through 2029-30, starting next season.

Rielly has survived a lot of really bad iterations of the Leafs and definitely deserves to be where he is at right now in terms of overall respect around the league, in the locker room and, in my opinion, his salary starting next season. Rielly is the definition of a good soldier who truly loves being a Leaf. This one is a head-scratcher, especially considering how solid he's been this season. Seth Jones was voted most over-rated.

The last Leaf on this list is a goaltender, and brace yourself Leafs Nation, you're not going to like this one. According to the results of the survey, Jack Campbell landed as the #4 most over-rated goalie in the National Hockey League.

Soup slander will not be tolerated. Campbell has been nothing short of spectacular as a Leaf, dating back to last season. He is among the best goalies in the league this year, and as a former 11th overall pick, is finally living up to his potential, despite being a bit of a late bloomer.

If there was a survey about who the absolute nicest guys in the NHL are, Campbell would be high on that list, which is why it's tough to see people thinking he's overrated. Granted, his body of work is not large at just 113 career NHL games, but his career 2.36 GAA and .922 SV% definitely indicates that the 30-year-old is anything but overrated. If anything, he's underrated. Meanwhile, Carey Price topped the list for most overrated. Not sure I agree with that one either. You can see the full list below.

If you're on Twitter, JFresh is a fun follow who provides some pretty fun player analysis. Follow him at @JFreshHockey.

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