The story of Auston Mathews.

Leafs Locker: Matthews heads west with teammates

On September 17th, 1997 Auston Mathews was born to Brian and Ema Mathews in San Ramon, California . He came from an athletic family, in fact his Uncle Wes played in The National Football League while his Dad played College baseball. Auston most likely could have followed his Father's footsteps and been a baseball player but he was often late to baseball practice as he was " Too busy shooting pucks."  At 2 months of age Auston moved to Scottsdale,Arizona where he first saw the Phoenix Coyotes as a 2 year old. Auston was inspired by the Phoenix Coyotes and Shane Doan but his favorite athlete was basketball player Kobe Bryant while his favorite movie was  Disney's "The Mighty Ducks." Auston's mother is of Latino culture and he has 2 younger sisters. Auston is in constant contact with his family who often take the time to commute to games and no doubt keep him grounded. His mother once said " Auston amazes me all the time and I'm his mother!" One amazing fact, Auston was fascinated by the Zamboni machine and didn't express an interest in hockey until age 5. Auston's dad Brian even stated that Auston was better at baseball than hockey.

Auston didn't take the traditional development route bypassing the Canadian major junior leagues and going through the US National development team and then deciding to play with men,after missing the NHL draft cut off by a mere 2 days. At the age of 17  Auston signed to play in Switzerland for the ZSC Lions of National League A under former NHL Vancouver Canuck's coach Marc Crawford. When asked to compare Auston Mathews to someone, Crawford responded " Peter Forsberg." High praise indeed. In fact, in his second season with the US development team he scored 116 points breaking Stanley Cup champion Patrick Kane's record of 102 points. He also played with Jack Eichel for a time in the USNDT during the 2013/2014 season.

Auston Matthews has represented the United States in numerous tournaments including a U17 WHC gold medal, two U18 WJC gold medals, and two IIHF World U20 Championship appearances.

Prior to the 2016 NHL draft Auston had an impressive list of awards and honours.
USHL Third All-Star Team2014–15
Swiss Ice Hockey Cup gold medal with the ZSC Lions2015–16
NLA Rising Star Award2015–16[16]
NLA Media All-Star Team2015–16
NLA Media Most Improved Player2015–16
NLA Youngster of the Year2015–16[21]
Rookie of the MonthDecember 2016[68]
NHL All-Star201720182019[26][69]
Calder Memorial Trophy2017[33]
NHL All-Rookie Team2017[70]
World U-17 Hockey Challenge gold medal2014
IIHF World U18 Championship gold medal2014
IIHF World U18 Championship gold medal2015
IIHF World U18 Championship Most Valuable Player2015[50]
IIHF World U18 Championship Media All-Star team2015[50]
IIHF World U18 Championship scoring leader2015
Bob Johnson Award2015[12]
IIHF World Junior Championship All-Star Team2016[71]
When the Toronto Maple Leafs won the NHL draft lottery Auston had tough competition from Finnish winger Patrick Laine. When asked, Leaf president Brennan Shanahan said " We think we know who is the best player is.."  Needless to say The Leafs took the 6 foot 3 inch, 223 pound Center first overall leaving no doubt as Patrick Laine went second overall to the Winnipeg Jets.

Auston may have had the biggest entry into the NHL of all time and set the bar very high for himself scoring 4 goals in his NHL debut against the Ottawa Senators and then going on to score 40 goals in his rookie year and winning the Calder Memorial trophy as the NHL's best rookie.

Auston does hold some records as per Wikipedia and even has a rap song named after him by rapper SVDVM.



Toronto Maple Leafs[edit]

Auston Mathew's career stats as per Wikipedia are:

Regular season and playoffs[edit]

Regular seasonPlayoffs
2013–14U.S. National Development TeamUSHL201010204
2014–15U.S. National Development TeamUSHL2420284810
2015–16ZSC LionsNLA36242246640332
2016–17Toronto Maple LeafsNHL824029691464150
2017–18Toronto Maple LeafsNHL623429631271120
NHL totals144745813226135270


2014United StatesU171st, gold medalist(s)64488
2014United StatesWJC181st, gold medalist(s)75274
2015United StatesWJC181st, gold medalist(s)787150
2015United StatesWJC5th51234
2016United StatesWJC3rd, bronze medalist(s)774112
2016United StatesWC4th106392
2016Team North AmericaWCH5th32130
Junior totals3225194418
Senior totals1384122

On Febuary 5th  2019,  Toronto Maple Leaf's  General Manager Kyle Dubas signed Auston to a 5 year, $ 11.634  AAV  Million dollar per year contract. The contract makes Auston the NHL's second highest paid player, only $900,000 behind Edmonton Oiler's star center Connor McDavid. The rumour is Auston was willing to sign for long term but at $14 Million per year. A tad high given what Connor McDavid is making and the Leafs upcoming signing of star winger Mitch Marner.

Auston says " I intend to play in Toronto for a long time." And Toronto Maple Leaf fans certainly hope he does as he is a major piece as Toronto tries to win it's first Stanley Cup since 1967.

After a tepid 1 goal 1 assist playoffs series last year against Boston in 7 games in which he played injured(shoulder), Mathews has adjusted to the playoff pressure in Toronto. He now has 3 goals in 4 games as the series now sits tied at 2 games a piece heading back to Boston.

Update Playoffs 2019. Auston had a good playoff while most of his teammates didn't. He scored 5 goals and 1 assist in 7 games versus the Boston Bruins and was one of the best Leaf players on the ice during that series.I still don't think Toronto has found the right wingers to play with Mathews and that they could better utilize him and make him more effective. Mathews is a sniper of  epic proportions.Other teams would find him what he needs and so must the Toronto Maple Leafs if they want to ever win a cup again.Auston Mathews gets an "A" for this year's 2019 Stanley Cup playoffs and progressed very nicely indeed.