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Is Maple Leafs Mitch Marner As Valuable As He Once Was?

There’s talk of the Toronto Maple Leafs trading Mitch Marner. The question is how valuable would other teams believe he is.

Although there’s a ton of talk about trading Mitch Marner, the one question that seems seldom asked is whether the Toronto Maple Leafs forward still holds value as one of the top wingers in the league despite his underwhelming playoff performances?

Related: What Shanahan Has Done Right as Maple Leafs President

Marner Is Good, But He Isn’t Matthews

First, I have to admit I am an unabashed Marner fan. But I agree he is not on the same level as Auston Matthews. Matthews is a generational player and arguably the best goal scorer in the Maple Leafs’ history. Marner is far from that. I also agree that he is overpaid, in my estimation, by about a million to a million and a half dollars. The fourth thing I agree with is that Marner has underperformed in the playoffs. 

Mitch Marner injury update Maple Leafs

But Marner is not alone in that aspect. I don’t know of a player in the Maple Leafs Core Five who has consistently performed well in the postseason. Everyone has had certain games in which they have shined and a series where they have played well, but I don’t feel you can consider any of them to be playoff performers. 

Looking at Marner’s Numbers During the Postseason

As much as Marner underperformed in the playoffs, he is still the only active player on the Maple Leafs roster to score 50 points in his combined postseason games. Here’s a look at his statistics, along with the other members of the team’s Core Five.

PlayerGames PlayedGoalsAssistsPoints
Mitch Marner57113950
Auston Matthews55232548
William Nylander54202343
Morgan Rielly57112940
John Tavares38121224

On the Maple Leafs’ all-time scoring list, Marner is 12th, Matthews is 14th, Nylander is 17th, Rielly is 20th, and Tavares is tied for 38th. 

If we break down the Maple Leafs all-time list into points per game played, we find the following:

PlayerGames PlayedPointsPoints Per Game
Doug Gilmour52771.48
Darryl Sittler64651.02
Mats Sundin77700.90
Mitch Marner57500.88
Auston Matthews55480.87
William Nylander54430.80
Gary Roberts50400.80
Wendel Clark79610.77
Ted Kennedy78600.77
Syl Apps69530.77

Note: This information from

Marner ranks fourth in the Maple Leafs’ history in points per game played, followed by Matthews in fifth and Nylander in sixth. He has done all of that while “underperforming.” 

Production-Wise, Marner Had a Poor 2024 Playoffs

I agree that Marner had a miserable 2024 playoffs production-wise. He scored just one goal and added two assists for three points in seven games. Could he have been injured?

Marner doesn’t have a ton of straight-line speed as a skater. He excels in his edges, changing direction, deking out opposing players, and creating space with his hands. In the Boston series, he looked like he was doing everything in slow motion. I couldn’t help but wonder if the high ankle sprain he suffered late in the season had anything to do with that.

However, he could still utilize his biggest strengths: his hands and pinpoint passing. He set up several scoring chances, but these chances did not result in goals. This was not a good playoff for him production-wise. There is a good chance he was not 100% for the postseason. He was not asked about that, and I will get to it.

In the 2023 playoffs, Marner led the Maple Leafs in points with 14 in 11 games. He had 11 points in the first-round win over the Tampa Bay Lightning. All of the above shows that Marner has performed in the playoffs. He is 27 years old and has many prime years left. I see no reason to expect him not to perform in the playoffs in the future.

The Bottom Line: Marner Will Be Seen by Other Teams as Having Huge Value

All the talk of the Maple Leafs losing on any Marner trade might be incorrect. Given his success in the regular season (always around 100 points, with the potential for more), it would seem likely that other teams would be willing to take a chance on him.

If Marner would be willing to move, the Maple Leafs might fetch a hefty return for him.

Related: Next Coach for Maple Leafs Faces a Huge Offensive Challenge




  1. afp1961

    May 16, 2024 at 12:23 pm

    Hi Stan – you know where I have stood on Marner for the past five years…..overhyped. Never was valuable, never will carry a team to a cup, never was or will be a leader. To think that his idol growing up was Doug Killer Gilmour. I wish Mitch would have even one equal characteristic (other than passing) to those carried by Dougie who was fearless, relentless, a fighter with grit, determination and passion beyond his size. That is what this team needs and yet we throw it away in order to play and retain the core four.

    Finally the love affair with the local fanboy is wearing off and all the kids who hung on with every dipsy doodle and bought that as good hockey are wakeing up to the reality that its not playoff hockey and will never bring us close to a cup….

    Move on for everyone’s benefit, including Marner’s……

    • gfinale

      May 16, 2024 at 2:10 pm

      There’s no like so my comment is I agree entirely!

  2. gfinale

    May 16, 2024 at 1:59 pm

    The points for all core in 2023 look good but that’s because they easily got them in the 1st round. It masks what happened in the 2nd round when they were all lousy and didn’t produce acceptably..including Marner!

  3. gfinale

    May 16, 2024 at 2:07 pm

    Happy to see you’re writing articles, Stan! Once Marner got the 11 mil contract, I don’t think anyone in the NHL was going to trade for him without their team getting paid substantially to do so. Almost everyone knew that was a bad contract and it has been. The Leafs will NOT get fair value back but that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t do it because 11 mil can be put to better use. The decision about whether to trade Marner isn’t about how well he’s done but rather that one of the core 4 at least must be traded. Matthews and Nylander just signed so they aren’t going. Tavares probably won’t allow a trade and it could risk him playing some years at a bargain. So then Marner must go. If he doesn’t go, he can’t be re-signed next year anyway. In any case, I am all but sure Marner and his dad will push to free agency to get every last nickel they can.

  4. Bent

    May 17, 2024 at 6:38 am

    Nice reading Stan! Finaly you are getting Marner, is not the best rightwinger on Toronto Maple Leafs. He get a lot of points, last season one assist point whole sitting on the bench. Marner is a complementry player, meaning he can’t carry a line, even less carry a team. It have been said he started his shut first mentally, still not playing with a high skilled goalscorer; his points drops. That is the biggest reason his post season points droped more this season then before. Maybe he get high value on another team. But if not playing on a team with skilled goalscorer, he will be an aversge winger and a value about $6 -8M caphit.

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