Leafs' Matthew Knies 'unlikely' to return in Round 2 series vs. Panthers
Toronto Maple Leafs forward Matthew Knies was injured in the first period of his team's Game 2 loss to the Florida Panthers on Thursday.
The 20-year-old was involved in a collision with Sam Bennett behind the Florida net in the opening frame before being driven to the ice by the Panthers forward. Bennett did not receive a penalty on the play.
Sam Bennett shoves Matthew Knies, making him go back-first into the boards, then tops it off with a bodyslam to the ice. It’s a rough one out there tonight, folks! pic.twitter.com/ADLWAmveWf
— Jason Gold (@JayGold85) May 4, 2023
Maple Leafs coach Sheldon Keefe told reporters on Friday that Knies sustained a concussion on the play. Keefe added that Knies will definitely miss Games 3 and 4 in Florida, and is "unlikely to return in the series."
Matthew Knies has a concussion and will definitely miss Games 3 and 4, according to Sheldon Keefe. He's "unlikely to return in the series."
— Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) May 5, 2023
Knies had been a spark plug for the Maple Leafs since entering the lineup in Game 2 of Toronto's first-round series against the Tampa Bay Lightning due to Michael Bunting's three-game suspension. Knies has one goal and three assists through seven games this postseason, with that lone tally being one for the highlight reel.
MATTHEW KNIES 🚨
FIRST PLAYOFF GOAL! WHAT A MOVE! pic.twitter.com/mg5zzkwRBc
— Omar (@TicTacTOmar) May 3, 2023
The Arizona native also registered one point in three games in the final week of the regular season after joining Toronto following his run to the Frozen Four as a member of the University of Minnesota Gophers. Minnesota lost to Quinnipiac in overtime in the championship game.
He totalled 36 goals and 39 assists in 73 career NCAA games and racked up numerous accolades in his sophomore season with the Gophers. He was the Big Ten Player of the Year in 2022-23 and was named a finalist for the Hobey Baker Award, which is given to the top men's college hockey player in the United States.
Knies was drafted by the Leafs in the second round (57th overall) in 2021. He signed his entry-level deal with Toronto on April 9.
The 6-foot-3 winger has also competed for the United States internationally, most notably at the 2022 world junior men's hockey championship and 2022 Olympic Games in Beijing.