When the Toronto Maple Leafs selected Auston Matthews with the number one overall pick in June, much was expected of the super hyped American prospect. Having seen the 19-year old from Scottsdale, Arizona play extremely well for Team North America in the World Cup of Hockey, he didn’t look out of place.
This is a player who dominated a professional league in Switzerland last year. totaling 46 points (24-22-46) in 36 games for Zurich SC as an 18-year old. Even in a great draft that included Finnish prospects Patrik Laine, who went second overall to Winnipeg and Jesse Puljujarvi, who went fourth overall to Edmonton scoring in his NHL debut, all eyes are on Matthews.
What can he do for an Original Six franchise in the hockey capital that hasn’t been relevant in years? How about setting the hockey world a blaze with a record setting performance in the Leafs’ 5-4 overtime loss at the Senators. In front of his Mom, he not only recorded a hat trick but scored all four Toronto goals including the record setter- becoming the first ever rookie to debut with a four goal game. Only four other players had ever scored three including current Ranger Derek Stepan, former NHLer Fabian Brunnstrom, Real Cloutier and Alex Smart.
Today’s Video of Day shows off Matthews’ unique set of world class skill. The second goal is a highlight reel in which he came back in the neutral zone and then undressed Ottawa’s Mike Hoffman and two-time Norris winner Erik Karlsson before beating Toronto starter Frederik Andersen. He would score two more times including off great feeds from Morgan Rielly and William Nylander. But the Sens rallied to win the game at home with Kyle Turris getting his second of the game 37 seconds into overtime by beating a late back checking Matthews, who took responsibility for the loss.