The No. 1 overall pick made an instant impact with the Maple Leafs, scoring four goals in his first career NHL game.
If you’re someone who is already sick of hearing about Auston Matthews, beware: it’s only going to get worse.
The first overall pick from the 2016 NHL draft wasted no time making an impact for the Toronto Maple Leafs. The 19-year-old center needed just over eight minutes to score his first career goal. Ten minutes later, he had two more. By the time his first two periods were in the books, he had a record setting four goals.
As if scripted by the Hockey Gods, Matthews scored four goals in his NHL debut, becoming just the fifth player ever to score a hat trick in his first NHL game, and the first player in the modern era to score four times. Perhaps a further nod from the Hockey Gods was the Leafs ultimately losing 5-4 to the Ottawa Senators in overtime.
On his first goal, he was parked in front of the net and banged in a pass from Zach Hyman to give the Maple Leafs a 1-0 lead .
But it was his second first-period goal that will have everyone talking. It also displayed the skill that made him such a sought-after player.
Matthews knocked down a pass at the blueline, outworked four players to regain the puck, stripped two-time Norris Trophy winner Erik Karlsson of the puck, walked in, and scored a highlight-reel goal.
He wasn’t done. His third goal came early in the second period. Again he parked himself out front and finished off a pass from Morgan Rielly.
Matthews 3, Senators 2.
Despite being on the road in Ottawa, a considerable number of hats flew on to the ice.
Matthews became the first ever No. 1 overall pick to score a hat trick in his first game.
Late in the second, he did it again.
He finished off a 2-on-1 with William Nylander, who picked up his second assist of the night by the way, with just three seconds left in the second period.
That gave the Maple Leafs a 4-3 lead, but they couldn’t hang on. The Senators scored to tie in the third period, then won it just 37 seconds into the 3-on-3 overtime — on a goal Matthews said was his fault in a postgame interview.
It’s only one game but so far Matthews is showing he is worth the considerable hype.