Matthew Knies announces his decision

Published April 14, 2022 at 6:42 PM
BY BEN HODGSON
Matthew Knies has been a hot topic lately. The standout freshman for the University of Minnesota Golden Gophers was taken by the Leafs in the second round at the last draft. Those who had scouted Knies called it a steal of a pick, and some were amazed he didn't go in the first round. The excitement started to build.

The Gophers, led by Knies and recent Colorado Avalanche signing Ben Meyers, played their way to a Big 10 championship this season, but were knocked out of the Frozen Four Tournament. Leaving Knies with some unfinished business in Minnesota.

Meanwhile, the Leafs are well on their way to the best season in franchise history, on pace to eclipse the 105 point mark they reached in 2017-2018. Auston Matthews has already smashed Rick Vaive's record for goals scored by a Leaf, and capped that off by notching 51 goals over a 50-game span in the process. A potentially season ending injury to Ondrej Kase has opened up a roster spot that Knies could slot into. He's big, fast, and shoots the puck like his idol, Auston Matthews. However, Knies was on the fence, until today.

Being faced with the decision of leaving college early to play with your idol or staying in school in order to avenge a feeling of unfinished business can't be easy for a 19 year old kid. There is a lot of competition to make the Leafs lineup and if he plays a single game in Toronto, he is no longer eligible for the NCAA.


Ultimately, Knies decided to stay in school for the time being, citing that unfinished business with the Frozen Four tournament as a big part of his reasoning. Some fans, mostly of other teams, will crow about Knies waiting out Toronto's ownership of his pro rights, which would end in 3 years. Knies' advisor Matt Federico shot that down quickly, stating for the record that the Leafs have nothing to worry about in terms of Knies' future. He wants to be a Leaf, he will be a Leaf, just not this season.


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