Long-time NHL executive raves about a Leafs prospect, says the Leafs should avoid moving him ''at all costs''

Mike Armenti
November 25, 2022  (9:58)

The excitement for prospect Matthew Knies in Leafs Nation is real. After posting 33 points in 33 games as a rookie at the University of Minnesota last season, Knies elected to forego signing his ELC last Spring to play one more season in the NCAA while he continues to develop. Thus far this season, Knies has scored 8 goals and added 6 assists, totaling 14 points in 14 games.

The 6'3, 210-pound left winger could be just what the doctor ordered to help bolster the Leafs' top six right before their playoff run, should he elect to sign his ELC in 2023. But it's not just Leafs Nation who are excited about the 2021 2nd round pick. Long-time Los Angeles Kings executive and current Carolina Hurricanes consultant Mike Futa also raved about Knies during an appearance on JD Bunkis' podcast on Sportsnet 590, calling him probably the only piece that he would hold onto "at all costs", if he was Leafs GM Kyle Dubas.
"For me, the ONLY piece I would avoid moving at all costs and I should have written his name down... Matthews Knies, for me, gave me probably 5 of the best live viewings I've ever had of a college player... I think he has a chance to be at least a 2nd line player [in the NHL]. He might be that piece they always talk about who fits on the 2nd line with Tavares - you know, [he could] play with anybody and I'm not past thinking that he's a guy, when he's done his season this year, might have an impact coming up and playing. He's just that good, in my opinion... that's the only piece that I would try to avoid moving."

Futa on Leafs prospect Matthew Knies

Knies is often referred to as a "unicorn" - a unique mythical creature - because he has a very special skill set. He's a legitimate power forward who is not only physical, but who possesses legitimate NHL size and also has a knack for scoring big goals. His scoring radius is large. He can shoot the puck well and pick corners from well out, and he can get in tight as well and has the hands to finish in close. He's a solid net-front presence, but also has the speed to be able to contribute off the rush. It's easy to see why Futa identified Knies as that piece that the Leafs should avoid moving, even if it means landing a big piece that can help them win now. Knies is the type of player, in Futa's opinion, who can help them win now AND in the future.
Long-time NHL executive raves about a Leafs prospect, says the Leafs should avoid moving him ''at all costs''

Should the Leafs trade Matthew Knies for a big piece who can help them win now?

Yes458 %
No41573.8 %
Knies IS that guy who can help them win now10218.1 %
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