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Players to watch: Leafs at Sabres (Nov. 3)

Players to watch: Leafs at Sabres (Nov. 3)
Posted at 2:44 PM, Nov 03, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-03 14:44:15-04

Thursday, the Buffalo Sabres will look to win their fourth straight when Auston Matthews and the Toronto Maple Leafs come to town. Buffalo is 17-1-1 in their last 19 home matchups against Toronto -- but Toronto without question has more skill than any other team in recent memory. Five things to watch during Thursday's matchup:

Auston Matthews

Surprise, surprise, Auston Matthews is a guy I'll have my eye on tonight. After scoring four goals in his first career game Matthews has cooled off a bit -- but still has ten points (6G, 4A) in ten games played. Matthews is extremely skilled and talented but needs a little work in his own end of the ice, much like the Sabres saw last year with Jack Eichel. He's averaged about 17 minutes in his last five games but is arguably already their biggest threat offensively, so expect to see him when the Leafs are on the power play or if they are playing from behind.

Plain and simply, Auston Matthews is a superstar in the making and it will be fun to watch him grow. There's plenty of reasonably priced tickets still available on websites like StubHub -- if you don't have plans, I would suggest snagging a ticket.

William Nylander

If Sabres prospect Alex Nylander pans out like his brother Willie, the Sabres will be thrilled. So far this season William Nylander leads the Leafs in scoring with eleven points (4G, 7A) in ten games. Four of Nylander's assists have come on Matthews' goals -- and early on the duo has shown some really impressive chemistry, combining for 73 shots.

While Matthews gets all the hype, Nylander is putting together an incredible start to the season and was just named the NHL's rookie of the month for October. Like Matthews, Nylander is a phenomenal hockey player, and worth the price of admission.

Tyler Ennis

If you look at the numbers it would like Tyler Ennis has been terrible so far this season. Well, early on, he wasn't very good -- but in his last four games Ennis has looked much better. On Tuesday in Minnesota Ennis was buzzing around the ice and was arguably the Sabres best player--even without finding the scoresheet.

Ennis has seemed to find some nice chemistry with Sam Reinhart and Zemgus Girgensons, and you'd imagine that will continue to grow the more games they get under their belt as unit. Eventually Ennis will need to find the back of the net and start scoring some goals -- but I think that will happen sooner rather than later.