Since he was 12 years old, Auston Matthews was far and beyond the best player in his age group.
Now 19 years old, Matthews is already on his way to becoming the best player in every age group.
Matthews, the 12th pick of the 2016 NHL Draft, made his debut on October 12 versus the Ottawa Senators, and it was one for the ages.
The Toronto Maple Leafs rookie Centerman made history that night, becoming the first player in history to score four goals in his first game. As much as this was a surprise to the world, it was no surprise to Senators coach Guy Boucher who knows how high his ceiling can be.
“He’s the real deal,” Boucher said. “I told everybody and I saw it firsthand last year so I’m not surprised. He’s the total package. He played against men last year and he’s playing against men now, so I’m not surprised.”
When you think about the legendary players that have come through the NHL (Gretzky, Howe, Orr, Hull), none of them were able to do what Matthews did that night, in their first game. The hype surrounding the rookie from Scottsdale, Arizona was already as high as could be, but with that performance and the way he’s started his career two weeks in, it feels like there’s not enough hype to go around.
Through his first seven games, Matthews has scored six goals and dished out four assists for 10 points. Many players in the NHL would love to score that many goals and rack up that many points in a months time, let alone in their first seven games of their career as a teenager.
Via Associated Press: “Most guys would be thrilled to score four in a month…. (hash)easygame” wrote Hurricanes forward Viktor Stalberg.
Despite Matthews’ historic start, the Maple Leafs have started a dismal 2-5, so there’s room for improvement overall. The foundation is there however, because Matthews will only continue to get better from here and develop into one of the best players in today’s game.
Scratch that, let’s not limit the young phenom, Matthews is on his way to becoming the next “Great One.” Watch out, Wayne Gretzky.
Are you watching Auston Matthews? Do you think he’s in the running to be one of the greats in NHL history? Tweet me @phenombc3