Auston Matthews (born 17.9.1997) is an American ice hockey center. He has been playing in the NHL since 2016 and he has played his whole NHL career the with Toronto Maple Leafs. He is currently alternate captain of the Maple Leafs. Matthews was drafted 1st overall by the Maple Leafs in the 2016 NHL Draft.
Matthews was drafted by Everett Silvertips in the 2012 WHL Bantam Draft, but Matthews selected to play with U.S National Team Development Program (USNTDP), which participates in the USHL. In his second season with USNTDP (2014-15), Matthews made 116 (55+61) points and finished first in league. He broke the USNTDP old record of 102 points set by Patrick Kane in 2005-06. Matthews made strange move and chose to play season 2015-16 with ZSC Lions in the Swiss National League A (NLA). Matthews played 40 games with Lions and made 49 (24+25) points. He was the second top-scorer on the Lions and tenth in NLA. After all, top seeded Lions lose straight 4-0 in the first round of 2016 NLA playoffs against SC Bern and Matthews came back to wait 2016 NHL Draft.
Toronto Maple Leafs
Auston Matthews was selected first overall in the 2016 NHL Draft by Toronto Maple Leafs. On 21.7.2016, Matthews signed three-year entry-level contract with the Maple Leafs. On 12.10.2016, Matthews made his NHL debut against Ottawa Senators. Matthews made incredible four goals in his first NHL game – that was first time in modern NHL history (previously, 1917, Harry Hyland and Joe Malone made five goals in their NHL debuts). Matthews finished 2016-17 regular season with 69 (40+29) points in 82 games. The Maple Leafs entered the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the first time in a full season since 2004. Matthews and the Maple Leafs were eliminated in six games by first seeded Washington Capitals – Matthews made 5 (4+1) points in 6 games. After the season Matthews was awarded the Calder Trophy as the NHL’s top rookie.
In 2017-18 season, Matthews had some injury problems and he missed 20 games in the regular season – he still made 63 (34+29) points in 62 games. In 2018-19 season, Matthews started well and become the youngest player in NHL history to record five multi-point games to open the season. On 27.10.2018, Matthews sustained a left shoulder injury and he missed 14 games. On 5.2.2019, Matthews signed new five-year contract with the Maple Leafs. Matthews finished regular season with 73 (37+36) points in 68 games. Toronto Maple Leafs reached again playoffs, but were eliminated by the Boston Bruins in seven games – Matthews made 11 (5+6) points in seven games. At the start of 2019-20 season, Matthews was named alternative captain for the Maple Leafs. Matthews made his new point record with 80 (47+33) points in 70 games. Post season was again disappointment to the Maple Leafs as they lose to the Columbus Blue Jackets in the best-of-five qualifying round.
Auston Matthews played twice with Team USA in the IIHF World U18 Ice Hockey Championships (2014 and 2015). Team USA and Matthews won both times gold medals. In the 2015 championships, he was tournament MVP, he was named to the All-star team and he was the best scorer of the tournament. Matthews played in 2016 World Junior Ice Hockey Championships – Team USA won bronze medals. Matthews was selected in the 2016 IIHF World Championships – Team USA lost bronze medal match against Canada, but Matthews led Team USA in point scoring (9 (6+3) points in 10 games).