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Maple Leafs’ Zach Hyman’s Moving Back to First-Line Role

Sadly for the Toronto Maple Leafs, Wayne Simmonds will be out for six weeks. Gladly for the Maple Leafs, Zach Hyman is there. Will he succeed?

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It’s been an up-and-down season (in the lineup) for the Toronto Maple Leafs’ Zach Hyman. However, no matter where Hyman is placed in the lineup, he always produces.

Related: Maple Leafs’ Wayne Simmonds Could Miss Six Weeks With Injury

Joe Thornton’s Arrival Means Hyman Moved Down

When Joe Thornton arrived in Toronto and head coach Sheldon Keefe decided that Thornton’s place in the lineup was with Auston Matthews and Mitch Marner on the team’s top line, that moved Hyman down to a third-line role. He played well there.

Marner & Matthews

One thing Maple Leafs’ fans can count on is that Hyman will always remain a team-guy first and, as such, will be a solid team player. With the third line, in a checking role Hyman didn’t get the offensive opportunities he did during last season. No complaint.

When Thornton broke his rib during a game, Hyman jumped up to a top-six role and delivered.

Wayne Simmond’s Move to First Line Meant Hyman Moved Down

Then, coach Keefe had a brain wave – and a good one – to move the energetic and fearless Wayne Simmonds to a top-six role with Matthews and Marner. It worked well. Simmonds got his fourth and fifth goals of the season last night in Saturday’s 5-1 win over the Vancouver Canucks.

Wayne Simmonds Maple Leafs NHL
Wayne Simmonds Maple Leafs NHL

Sadly for the team and perhaps especially for Simmonds, who was having an amazing come-home-to-Toronto season, the power forward was hit on the hand with a puck during a clearing attempt and now is projected to miss six-weeks’ worth of games.

Hyman Moves on Up Again to Top-Line Role

That means Hyman will probably jump up once again to the top line to play with Matthews and Marner, and he’ll be good at it. He can, after all, score. In fact, he’s had two 21-goal seasons in a row – the last one playing only 51 games.

Last night against the Vancouver Canucks, Hyman scored his third goal of the season in the second period to push the Maple Leafs’ lead to 3-0. He also added an assist and played more than 20 minutes (20:50 to be exact) during the game in his 23 shifts. It was his first multiple-point game of the season, and he now has three goals and four assists in the 12 games he’s played this season.

Zach Hyman is a noted children’s author

Hyman has also scored in three straight games and has a great chance to add to that streak as he takes his place on the team’s top line. The next game he’ll play is also against the Canucks on Monday evening in Toronto.

Maple Leafs’ fans should look for his totals to start heading upwards.

Related: Lehtonen In, Keefe Says Sandin’s Time With Maple Leafs Will Come

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