As most of you already know, I’m a huge Toronto Maple Leafs fan and I have been all of my life. Last season the Leafs ended up finishing the season in 30th place, right at the bottom. Finishing last brought with it good and bad things. The bad is that we didn’t make the playoffs, and ended up golfing early, while the other teams who made it, battled for the Stanley Cup. Another negative was that it was possible they would lose support from the fans. The good that became of it was that the Maple Leafs ended up winning the first overall pick in the NHL Draft which in my opinion, the Leafs definitely deserved because it has been a while since their last cup. Also considering last season they were like 3 balls away from getting the 1st overall pick which happened to be Connor McDavid; a player who’s known for his speed and ability to put the puck into the back of the net.
Heading into the 2016 NHL Draft with the first overall pick the Leafs had some decisions to make: do you pick Auston Matthews? Here’s one of his most impressive stats he put up. (He appeared in 24 games for the USHL team, scoring 20 goals and adding 28 assists for 48 points) Last season Patrik Laine, the other contender for first overall, played for Tappara Tampere a team in Finland. He appeared in 46 games and recorded 17 goals and 16 assists for a combined 33 points. Now everyone was saying it would be a tough decision for the Leafs coaching staff and management. From my perspective, I would choose Auston Matthews because of his point total, and his size.
I recently interviewed one of my friends to see who they would choose between Auston Matthews and Patrik Laine. My friend said Auston Matthews “he’s a good player, and has a lot of potential to be a good player”. Another comment was made that she also doesn’t like Patrik Laine because he is cocky and when he was first getting interviewed by TSN, he would say things like is it even a competition between Matthews and I; I’m obviously number one. I know it’s good to have a lot of self confidence and being positive, but when you say things like that it sets a bad reputation for yourself especially towards the coaching staff, management, and the fan base.
On June 24th, all of the NHL teams travelled to Buffalo for the NHL Draft, which happens every year. The Maple Leafs kicked off the Draft with the first pick of the day and with the hard decision that they had to make between Matthews and Laine. Mark Hunter made the announcement in front of the crowd. “Toronto are proud to announce from Zurich, mens league Switzerland, from the US program: Auston Matthews. At this point, everyone was freaking out, but really if you think about it we all knew that it was coming. It’s just an amazing feeling to wake up every day and realize that you have one of the best players in the NHL on your team.
In closing, Auston Matthews made his Maple Leafs debut on Wednesday night as the Leafs opened up the season on the road in Ottawa against the Senators. Auston Matthews made sure that everyone knew who he was. At the middle of the second period he scored his third goal of the game; a hat trick. Everyone thought that was amazing until he scored another goal. 4 goals in your first NHL game that is absolutely crazy. Unfortunately, the Leafs ended up losing 5-4 in Overtime, but regardless they head back to Toronto with one point.