Skip to main content

Auston Matthews' Historic Debut



It's not often that a 19 year old kid can match all of the expectations that the media and NHL hype machine put on him. It is completely unheard of such a player doing it in his very first NHL game.

But that's exactly what Auston Matthews did on October 12th, 2016. And he made NHL history (in modern era - since 1943) in the process.

Matthews, the first overall draft choice in the summer of 2016 and the kid appointed the apparent savior of the long suffering Toronto Maple Leafs, scored an amazing four goals in his very first NHL game.


Not surprisingly, Matthews' four goals is a NHL record for a player in his very first game.

Four goals in one game is pretty rare by any NHL player, let alone in a debut. Only four times in NHL history has a debuting rookie registered a hat trick with three goals.

- Alex Smart, Montreal vs. Chicago, Jan. 14, 1943.
- Real Cloutier, Quebec vs. Atlanta, Oct. 10, 1979.
- Fabian Brunnstrom, Dallas vs. Nashville, Oct. 15, 2008.
- Derek Stepan, New York Rangers at Buffalo, Oct. 9, 2010

Matthews did come one point shy of tying Al Hill's NHL record for most points in a NHL debut. On February 14th, 1977 Hill scored two goals and three assists for five points for the Philadelphia Flyers.

It is interesting to note that of the players listed above, three (Smart, Brunnstrom and Hill) fizzled out pretty quickly while Cloutier and Stepan had solid careers.

The expectations for Matthews will remain much higher than that.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

100 Greatest Hockey Players Of All Time

What follows is a listing of the 100 greatest hockey players of all time, in my opinion. As discussed earlier, the definition of greatness is a very personalized endeavor and there is absolutely nothing wrong with it.
While there is no way of ever truly ranking the top 100 definitively, it is important for the creators of such lists to be open and transparent of how the came to their conclusions. That accountability allows the reader to better understand the process. 

Although admittedly I'm using a completely unscientific formula, I weigh career achievements (era statistics, awards, championships) and legacy (impact on and off ice, peak dominance) equally high. I rank player ability as the third most important ingredient, as first and foremost as a tie breaker. Hence, I'm not necessarily looking for the better player, as in text book definitions of what a hockey player should be, but for players with the greatest careers and greatest legacies. Therefore the best player is not n…

Top Ten Junior Players Of All Time

Let's take a look at the Top Ten junior players of all time. For the purposes of this list we will at players in the WHL, OHL and QMJHL only.

10. Pat Lafontaine, Verdun, QMJHL Rookie-record 104 goals, 234 points in 1982-83; major junior player of the year.

9. Denis Potvin, Ottawa, OHL 254 games, 95 goals, 234 assists, 329 points. Broke Bobby Orr's junior records.

8. John Tavares, Oshawa, OHL 215 goals, 433 points in 247 games; most goals in OHL history; eligibility rules changed to admit him at 15; 2006 major junior rookie of the year, 2007 major junior player of the year; two world juniors, named 2009 all-star, top forward and MVP.

7. Sidney Crosby, Rimouski, QMJHL 120 goals, 303 points in 121 games; two-time major junior player of the year; silver and gold with Canada at two world juniors.

6. Eric Lindros, Oshawa, OHL 97 goals, 216 points in 95 games; one Memorial Cup victory; three world junior tournaments; major junior player of the year in 1991.

5. Mike Bossy, Laval, Q…

Greatest Hockey Legends: M