John Tavares came to the Toronto Maple Leafs on July 1, 2018 fully knowing the weight of the franchise was going to be placed on his shoulders the moment he signed a 7-year, $77 million contract to come home. Giddiness was in abundance in Leafs Land as the team had added, for nothing more than cap space, a key complement to their young and talented forward trio of Auston Matthews, Mitch Marner and William Nylander.
It would have been understandable for Tavares to not live up to the hype and hyperbole, but instead he proceeded to completely shatter all expectations in his first year with the club, posting career highs in goals (47) and points (88) as the Leafs finished tied for seventh in the end of season standings with the league’s fourth-ranked offence and eight-ranked powerplay.
The club made him captain on opening night of the 2019-20, and from there things got a little rocky (by Tavares’ standards).
By the numbers
Since joining the Leafs, Tavares has undeniably been a top-15 centre over that timeframe. His 0.50 goals-per-game places him 6th among centres (tied with Nathan MacKinnon) and his 1.02 points-per-game places him 14th, ahead of players like Sebastian Aho, Elias Pettersson, Sean …
Author: Mark Norman / The Leafs Nation