Denis Malgin the Finest Maple Leafs Acquisition: Who Knew?

When Kyle Dubas reacquired Denis Malgin this previous offseason, many media and followers, together with us, questioned the signing. Regardless of enjoying 184 video games over 4 seasons from 2016 to 2020 for a Florida Panthers staff that wasn’t superb, Malign did little to impress us when the Maple Leafs first acquired him.

Malign is small, at 5-foot-9 and 175 kilos. He’s, nonetheless, speedy sufficient on his skates. Nonetheless, Malgin did not appear to have what it took to be a full-time NHLer.

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To make issues worse, the Maple Leafs parted with 6-foot-4 and 210-pound Mason Machment within the deal that introduced Malgin to the Maple Leafs. Marchment was and is a bodily participant who produced decently within the AHL, scoring 37 objectives and 69 factors in 112 video games over his final three seasons with the Marlies. He additionally compiled over 100 minutes in penalties.

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The commerce did not look like a giant deal till final season when Marchment exploded statistically. Abruptly and with out a lot warning, he scored 18 objectives and 47 factors over 54 video games for the Panthers.

Malign Went Dwelling to Play in Switzerland, However Determined to Return this Season

After solely stepping into eight video games with the Maple Leafs within the 2019-20 season, and never scoring a single level, Malign determined to return house and play within the Swiss league within the fall of 2020. Malign lit it up within the Swiss league by scoring 40 objectives and including 54 assists (for 94 factors) in 93 video games over two seasons. He additionally represented Switzerland within the 2022 Bejing Winter Olympics the place he scored one aim in three video games.


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On July thirteenth Dubas signed Malgin to a one-year league-minimum $750,000 contract.

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After a surprisingly good coaching camp, Malgin not solely made the opening sport roster but additionally discovered himself enjoying on the left wing of the second line alongside John Tavares and William Nylander. Malign even scored a aim within the opening sport in Montreal, a sport the Maple Leafs finally misplaced to the Canadiens 4-3. He and Nylander appeared to have robust chemistry on the ice.

Malgin’s Analytics Are Robust

After going scoreless in his subsequent three video games, Malgin was finally changed on the second line by Nick Robertson. Since then, Malgin has been out and in of the lineup. To this point, he has performed seven of the eleven video games the Maple Leafs have performed.

Malgin has two objectives and one help and is plus-4 in these video games. The truth is, Malgin is second on the staff in plus/minus, one level behind Mark Giordano at plus-5. He is solely certainly one of seven Maple Leafs’ gamers within the pluses in plus/minus.

Mark Giordano Toronto Maple Leafs
Mark Giordano, Toronto Maple Leafs (Photograph by Kevin Sousa/NHLI by way of Getty Photos)

In accordance with Naturalstattrick.com, Malgin is the one Maple Leafs’ participant who has performed greater than two video games and has not been scored in opposition to whereas he was on the ice in five-on-five conditions. Within the seven video games Malgin has performed, he has been on the ice for 3 objectives for and nil objectives in opposition to whereas averaging slightly below eleven minutes of ice time per sport.

A deeper look into Malgin’s underlying numbers reveals that, at five-on-five, Malgin has been on the ice for 61.3 % of the shot share (that is first on the staff), 59.2 % of the Photographs (second on the staff), 62.1 % of the Anticipated Targets (second on the staff), 62 % of the Scoring Possibilities (fifth on the staff), and 64 % of the Excessive-Hazard Possibilities (first on the staff).

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Malgin has performed on each one of many backside three traces and has been a plus in each analytics class on no matter line he is performed.

Malgin, By the Eye Take a look at

By the attention check, he has been superb at carrying the puck and appears to have the flexibility to stay deal with his method out of bother. He is quick on his skates each with and with out the puck. Whereas he can present offense, he is additionally very accountable defensively. His lack of measurement from him has not negatively affected his sport from him.

The season is younger but, and this isn’t the playoffs. We should see how Malgin handles the grind over the lengthy haul and within the playoffs when the going will get rougher. For now, although, we’ve no downside seeing Keefe placing him wherever within the lineup.

Of all the skaters that Dubas signed over the summer season, Malgin has arguably been the group’s greatest acquisition.

[Note: I want to thank long-time Maple Leafs’ fan Stan Smith for collaborating with me on this post. Stan’s Facebook profile can be found here.]

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