Insider Believes Matthew Knies Is Already Better Than Recent First Overall Pick

Julien Trekker
September 28, 2023  (11:06)

Knies' Rookie Year: The Most Followed Behind Bedard's?

Matthew Knies' rookie campaign will be one of the most followed stories this year in Toronto.
Even if Connor Bedard will get most of the attention, Knies should get his fair share and could surprise many.
Knies' start in the NHL has been solid. In the last few games of last season, he showed that he deserved a spot in the lineup for the playoffs. There, he played very well before an injury sidelined him against the Florida Panthers.
He's so good that an insider thinks he's already better than one of the latest first overall picks and Canadian rival Juraj Slafkovsky.

Insider Believes Knies is Better Than Slafkovsky

Earlier today, live on the air of TSN 1050's First Up, analyst Mike Johnson talked about Matthew Knies' upcoming season and how he thinks it'll be a lot better than Slafkovsky's.
"Oh, I don't think it's even close - I think it's Matthew Knies. I mean, I think he's just further along... Slafkovsky scored a goal last night in the exhibition game, but he's just not there yet. He doesn't make enough happen, he's not quite clean enough with the puck. He can shoot it when he has time, but he just doesn't get himself around it and the team's no good, so he doesn't have people providing him with service, whereas Matthew Knies is the opposite where he's on a very good team, he gets support - but he's so much better with the puck in tight spaces.

I think Matthew Knies will have a very good season this year. I don't know if he's going to have a better career [than Slafkovsky], I don't think Montreal would trade Slafkovsky for Knies straight up, but I think this year coming up, I'd be very surprised if Matthew Knies wasn't more productive and had a better season than whatever Slafkovsky puts forward."

Slafkovsky, coming from the SM-Liiga, didn't get much experience on North American ice before last year. However, this doesn't change the fact that Knies, according to Johnson, will have a better year than Slafkovsky.
Another thing that could help Knies be better than Slafkovsky this year is the overall context of the team. The Leafs are a winning team, and the Habs are a developing team.
Playing alongside Auston Matthews, Mitch Marner, William Nylander, and John Tavares gives you more opportunities to score than playing with Nick Suzuki, Cole Caufield, Kirby Dach, and Sean Monahan.
While both should secure a spot on the second or third line, the depth of their respective organizations just doesn't compare.
Also, we have to note that Knies is a year older than Slafkovsky.
Who do you think is the best?
As seen on Maple Leafs Daily -
TSN analyst gives wild Matthew Knies hot take that he believes will come to fruition
Insider Believes Matthew Knies Is Already Better Than Recent First Overall Pick

Who do you think is the best?

Knies46487.5 %
Slafkovsky6612.5 %
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