Leafs rookie Matthew Knies
Photo credit: NHL

Leafs strength and conditioning coach raving about one young Leaf's work ethic

Published January 31, 2024 at 8:42

Toronto Maple Leafs rookie Matthew Knies made a brief ten game cameo appearance (3 games in the regular season and 7 games in the playoffs) in the NHL last season. Much more has been expected for his 2023-24 season and, so far, the Arizona native has delivered.

Much of Knies' success can be attributed to how hard he works off the ice. Maple Leafs head strength and conditioning coach Louis Rojas gave the rookie a glowing review this week, calling Knies very meticulous on wanting to improve.

"He's one of the most diligent athletes that we have on the team right now. He comes in, he preps, he does his mobility, he lifts, he asks questions — which I think is important, as well. We're always constantly working on little things, on little details. I think he's doing what he needs to do to grow not only as a person but an athlete as well."

The season hasn't been all smooth sailing for Knies, who has gone through multiple games without registering a point, with the longest stretch reaching five games. Toronto's eight-day break will be a blessing for Knies, who has admitted that the season has been a challenging one.

"For me, personally, I think I've contributed and played well. It's been a challenge for me, but I'm always excited to get to the rink and just compete and try to get better. It's been a fun year so far and I'm just really excited to see what we can do in the second half."

Knies has carved out a niche on the club's top line alongside Auston Matthews and Mitch Marner most nights. In 45 games he has scored 8 goals and 17 points while averaging 14:13 in ice time.

The 21-year-old, has the frame to be a true power forward in the league, standing at 6'3 and weighing 217 lbs. With his mindset and physical gifts, Knies can be a real difference maker for Toronto for years to come.

Source: Sportsnet.ca, The Leaf Blueprint
January 31   |   442 answers
Leafs strength and conditioning coach raving about one young Leaf's work ethic

Who is Toronto's most important young piece?

Matthew Knies15936 %
Joseph Woll23853.8 %
Nick Robertson4510.2 %
They're all important00 %
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