Leafs rookie Matthew Knies
Photo credit: NHL

Leafs rookie lands his biggest hit of the season, sends 6'2, 213-pound forward crashing into the boards

Published February 23, 2024 at 9:16

When rookies start to find their comfort zone at the NHL level, things can begin to follow an upward trajectory very quickly. However, when that rookie is 6'3, 215 lbs and that comfort level involves steam rolling the opposition, he can become a real problem - and I mean that in the best way possible.

Leafs rookie Matthew Knies can play, and that isn't really breaking news. After beginning the season in a 3rd line role, Knies has played his way up to a top line role this season, and while his production doesn't seem over impressive on paper, with 23 points in 54 games, the eye test paints a much better picture that aligns more with what the underlying numbers tell us - and he has also already figured out how to use his frame to his benefit against larger competition in the NHL, which is great news for the Leafs and not so great for everyone else.

At 6'2, 213 lbs, Vegas Golden Knights forward Paul Cotter is not a small man by any means. However, when he and Knies collided during last night's game, not only did Knies get the better of the collision, he sent Cotter crashing hard into the boards, stunned and in disbelief for a moment.

In his first full season as a Leaf, Knies has already racked up 117 hits in his 54 games and while not all of them were of the same magnitude of the one he landed on Cotter, you can guarantee that all of the players on the receiving end of his hits this season have felt them.

Knies was already impressive during last year's brief playoff performance, but with a full season of NHL experience under his belt and some additional time to grow into his frame, he'll be a force to be reckoned with in the East this postseason, provided he can remain healthy.
February 23   |   591 answers
Leafs rookie lands his biggest hit of the season, sends 6'2, 213-pound forward crashing into the boards

Do you see Matthew Knies as a long-term fit on that top line with Matthews and Marner?

Yes, he's been great there35960.7 %
No, he's probably a better 2nd or 3rd liner13623 %
He's the kind of guy you can move around9616.2 %
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