Toronto Maple Leafs: 3 Bold Predictions Heading Into 2022-23 Season

The Toronto Maple Leafs are hoping this year is finally the year. Last season they were bounced from the first-round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs once again, and general manager Kyle Dubas tried to make some moves to put his team in better shape come puck drop in a few weeks. Expectations are extremely high for the Maple Leafs, let's dive into three bold predictions for this upcoming season:

Ilya Samsonov Becomes #1 Netminder

It's going to be a training camp battle for Ilya Samsonov and Matt Murray when it comes to the Maple Leafs #1 goalie. While it's going to be a back and forth affair, likely throughout most of the season, when Stanley Cup Playoff time comes around, look for Samsonov to get the nod. He's three years younger than Murray and has shown with the Washington Capitals, he's capable of seeing the bulk of the work. 
 Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports
Leafs Nation may find this interesting: Samsonov in 2021-22 postseason = 2.97 GAA and .912 SV.%, Jack Campbell in 2021-22 postseason = 3.15 GAA and .897 SV.%.

Auston Matthews Scores 65 Goals

After scoring 60 goals in 73 games last season, get ready for a 65-goal season from Auston Matthews. He's entering the prime of his career and his skill set is among the league's best. Nobody shoots the puck like Matthews and with another full season of having Mitch Marner feeding him pucks, the sky is the limit. Add in Michael Bunting who appears to be LW option 1 for the Maple Leafs again this season, the trio are going to do big things. 65 snipes, here we come!

Maple Leafs Make Conference Finals

After almost two decades of getting bounced in the first-round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, get ready for some postseason success in Toronto. It won't be a Stanley Cup victory, but it will basically feel like one for Leafs Nation once the team gets out of the first round. Look for the 2022-23 Maple Leafs to make some noise in the NHL's second season and finally get themselves into the final four. Maple Leafs vs Penguins, eastern conference final.

Photo credit:  Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports