Toronto Maple Leafs: 2017-18 Preview: Looking at the forwards

TORONTO, CANADA - OCTOBER 02: Auston Matthews
TORONTO, CANADA - OCTOBER 02: Auston Matthews /
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Toronto Maple Leafs
TORONTO, CANADA – OCTOBER 02: Auston Matthews /

Inching closer and closer to puck drop, it is time for another season for the Toronto Maple Leafs as we preview the team’s forwards.

Last season was a major turnaround offensively for the Toronto Maple Leafs. During the 2015-16 campaign the team finished 28th in goals with 192 but  saw a massive improvement last season moving up to fifth in the league with 250 goals.

A large part of that came from the addition of a more talented core of forwards, a healthy lineup and the second best powerplay percentage in the league.

Auston Matthews lead the team in goals with 40 and points with 69,  setting new Leafs rookie records in the process. The Leafs had five players record at least 60 points, two players score 30 goals or more and three more players scoring more than 20 goals.

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The major change for the Leafs forwards this season will be the addition of Patrick Marleau who scored 27 goals last season for the San Jose Sharks. It will be interesting to see what he can provide the Leafs this season as he moves out of a top line role.

Tyler Bozak, Leo Komarov and James van Riemsdyk will have extra motivation to perform this season as they are all set to become unrestricted free agents in the offseason. If the Leafs are not able to sign either to a new contract, there are young forwards ready to take the next step but that is something to discuss near the end of the year.

The real question heading into the 2017-18 season is what this Leafs offence has ready for an encore and it all starts with the top line.