Hype surrounds any and all players who go number one overall in the NHL Draft. It’s like that in any draft, really. It’s natural, but in the wise words of James “Boobie” Miles from 2004’s Friday Night Lights, “Now hype is something that’s not for real.” Enter Auston Matthews.
After getting a look at him in his NHL debut for the Toronto Maple Leafs, Auston Matthews is most definitely for real.
He carved the Ottawa Senators not once, not twice, not even three times, but four times for the NHL’s best opening night debut for a player in its history. Some players don’t get four goals in a whole season, let alone one game. On the ice, Auston Matthews can do anything, it’s like with one singular game, Matthews has single-handedly told the world “Connor McWho?”
He made three Ottawa players, including perennial All-Star Erik Karlsson, look like amateurs on his second goal of the four. Only four players in NHL history have ever gotten a hat trick in their debut, but Matthews essentially told everybody that he wasn’t like those four players, he’s better.
You couldn’t write an NHL debut any better, Matthews’ debut had everything. A breakout performance, his mom in the stands crying tears of joy, the only things that would’ve made it better are if the Leafs were at home in Toronto, and if they, well, actually won the game.
“Wait, what?” You may be asking. Yes, it’s true, Toronto lost the game 5-4 in overtime to the Ottawa Senators, and the kicker of the whole thing is that Auston Matthews was upset and blamed himself.
So, the guy scores four goals in his first NHL regular season game, puts on a show, makes his own mom cry out of happiness, and is upset they didn’t get the win?
I think we’re going to like this guy.