Matthew Knies Signs With The Toronto Maple Leafs

April 9th, 2023: After two impressive seasons with the Gophers, Matthew Knies has signed his ELC with the Toronto Maple Leafs.

–> Follow @Dylanloucks4 on Twitter

After an impressive sophomore season, Matthew Knies has signed an NHL contract with the Toronto Maple Leafs to help boost the team in the playoffs.

Knies was drafted by the Toronto Maple Leafs 57th overall in 2021. In his freshman season, the six-foot-three power forward recorded 15 goals and 33 points in 33 games for the Gophers. His impressive rookie season quickly got the Maple Leafs and others’ attention.

But Knies eventually made the decision to return to Minnesota for his Sophomore season and boy was it a good one. Knies started the season on a line with Aaron Huglen and Bryce Brodzinski. But it only lasted four games before Bob Motzko put Knies with two super-skilled freshmen in Logan Cooley and Jimmy Snuggerud.

The Phoenix, Arizona, native clicked right away with the two freshmen in his first game where he recorded an assist on Jackson LaCombe’s goal which tied the game at 1-1, and later scored the overtime winner against North Dakota pushing the Gophers to a 4-1-0 start in the first five games.

Matthew Knies
Gophers’ Matthew Knies celebrates an overtime goal with Logan Cooley in a game against North Dakota on October 21st, 2022. Photo By: Matt Krohn

Born in Arizona and being drafted by the Maple Leafs, Knies had a good connection with Auston Matthews who is one of the top players in the NHL. Matthews is also from Arizona and is playing for the Leafs.

After his freshman season ended Knies had a conversation with Matthews after he talked to the Leafs’ General Manager Kyle Dubas. Matthews didn’t try to push him into signing with the Leafs or push him to return to Minnesota but he helped Knies feel comfortable in knowing whatever decision he makes.

But Knies made the decision to return to Minnesota to mature as a player and a person and he did both of that. Knies started improving his game and became a more complete player. He is a power forward and through his two years, Knies certainly proved that. He got better at skating throughout the offseason and became more confident in the way he plays the game.

“Motzko and his staff have done a great job continuing to build Knies’ game,” Dubas told the media after the NHL trade deadline. “I can’t rave enough about the job they have done at the University of Minnesota with him. They’ve utilized his strengths to the best of his ability which is huge.”

Dubas continued: “He’s come along really well there. There are fewer one-on-ones and forcing plays. It’s more playing within their system and strengths. He has been opposing himself physically as well. He’s done good work there but the staff at Minnesota have been excellent for him and his development.”

Knies finished the season with 21 goals and 41 points in 40 games for the Gophers. He will play a big role in helping the Toronto Maple Leafs make a deep run in the playoffs. He will fly back out to Florida where the Leafs play the Panthers on Monday and the Lightning, in Tampa, on Tuesday.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *