15Auston Matthews (Rating: 86)
This would have been a lot more controversial in October, as he was introduced to the game with a rating of 77, which was eventually upgraded to an 85 before finally settling at 86. That’s not a bad number for a 19-year-old rookie. It would look downright reasonable on any
other rookie in any other season, but Matthews deserves better because of one thing. His exceptional play (as well as Mitch Marner’s) has brought the Leafs to the edge of respectability for the first time in a very long time. Toronto has been helped by solid coaching, but Matthews’s play has single-handedly made the Maple Leafs exciting to watch, a far cry from the morose franchise they were just a few years ago, marred by management which preferred to keep the money in their pocket by putting a cheap but mediocre team on ice if the tickets kept selling out.
I would also add that Matthews performance in the World Cup of Hockey alone should have put him close to a 90, but I guess that EA either missed the World Cup or didn’t give it much weight in their final evaluation.