Vision/Hockey IQ: Mitch Marner
If Matthews’ wrist shot isn’t the greatest asset to this perfect player, then it’s Mitch Marner’s vision. The winger has consistently raised the play of those around him throughout his career by getting his linemates the puck in positions that they can succeed.
This vision has helped Marner rank ninth in assists since breaking into the league four seasons ago. He is also an extremely smart hockey player, knowing what needs to be done for his team (like blocking two David Pastrnak shots in the dying seconds of Game 1 in last season’s playoffs).
Marner also has a knack for pulling off creative, unreal plays (like having the presence of mind to grab a new stick from the bench before setting up a John Tavares goal against San Jose last season). His high hockey IQ is what allows him to be so effective on the penalty kill.
Work Rate: Zach Hyman
The entire career of Zach Hyman has been built off of his work rate. He is relentless on the puck, the kind of player that is necessary for a line to succeed.
Hyman isn’t afraid to go into the dirty areas of the ice to battle for pucks, a strength that makes him Toronto’s best forechecker and one of the team’s best penalty killers. He is the type of player that coaches love (just ask Mike Babcock) because of the effort he brings to the ice each and every night.