Young winger Matthew Knies recently signed an entry-level deal with the Toronto Maple Leafs and has been warmly welcomed by team captain John Tavares. In a display of camaraderie and support, Tavares has opened his home to the 20-year-old, helping Knies feel more welcome and part of the Leafs family. Knies told Lance Hornby of his gratitude for the kind gesture, emphasizing the sense of belonging it has instilled in him.
Drafted 57th overall in the 2021 NHL draft by the Leafs, Knies has had a promising start to his professional career. In his three games with the team thus far, he has registered one assist, two penalty minutes, and a +1 rating. Prior to joining the Leafs, Knies played for two seasons at the University of Minnesota, where he racked up an impressive 42 points in 40 games during his most recent season.
Although Knies is expected to be a healthy scratch based on the Leafs’ practice lines, he remains eager and prepared to make an impact on the team when called upon. The support and encouragement from a seasoned player like Tavares will undoubtedly help the young winger adapt to the NHL and develop his skills.
The maple Leafs are facing off against the Tampa Bay Lightning in the first round of the NHL playoffs. The Leafs are hoping to break a long time curse of not making it past the first round of playoffs, having been knocked out over and over despite having very good regular season campaigns.