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Knies Hobey Finalist, Tverberg Signs ELC; Leafs vs. Avalanche

March 15, 2023, 6:27 PM ET [426 Comments]
Mike Augello
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The Toronto Maple Leafs are awaiting the availability of prospect Matthew Knies when the University of Minnesota product’s NCAA season is complete. The 2021 draftee was named Big-10 Player of the Year earlier this week and on Wednesday was named one of the 10 finalists for the Hobey Baker Award. Meanwhile, the Leafs have also begun to get other US college players in their prospect pool signed to their entry-level contracts.

On Wednesday, Toronto signed forward Ryan Tverberg to a three-year, entry-level contract effective at the start of the 2023-24 season. The 21-year-old had 30 points (15 goals, 15 assists) in 35 games in his junior season with the University of Connecticut and 69 points (33 goals, 36 assists) in 85 career NCAA games.

The Richmond Hill, ON native was selected 213th overall (fifth last overall) in a draft where the Leafs had 12 picks after scoring 51 points (26 goals, 25 assists) in 47 games for the Toronto Jr. Canadiens system in the Ontario Junior Hockey League (OJHL).

Originally committed to go to Harvard to join Leafs prospects Nick Abruzzese and John Fusco, the Crimson’s cancellation of their 2021 season saw Tverberg head to Connecticut. In his sophomore campaign, he led Connecticut with 14 goals, finished second on the club with 32 points, earned a nomination for the Hobey Baker Award, was selected for the NCAA (Hockey East) First All-Star Team and the NCAA (East) Second All-American Team. He also was surprisingly in the mix for the 2022 Team Canada World Junior squad but was one of the last cuts.

Tverberg will immediately join the AHL Toronto Marlies for the remainder of the 2022-23 regular season and the Calder Cup Playoffs.


The Leafs hope to bounce back from an incomplete and troubling performance in a 4-3 loss to Buffalo against the reigning Stanley Cup champion Colorado Avalanche at Scotiabank Arena.

Ilya Samsonov will make his return in goal after Matt Murray started the last two games, and it is expected that head coach Sheldon Keefe will opt to use 11 forwards and seven defensemen again, but it is unknown whether Luke Schenn will get back in the lineup after returning to the ice on Wednesday.

Tampa Bay narrowed the Leafs lead on second place to two points after beating New Jersey 4-1 in Newark on Tuesday and did it without Steven Stamkos (out day-to-day with a lower-body injury) but Toronto has two games in hand.


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