Auston Matthews’ journey to the cover of NHL 20 has been anything but conventional. The Arizona native forged his own unique path to NHL superstardom and became the first Toronto Maple Leafs player to grace the cover of EA Sports NHL.
Auston Matthews consistently ignites the ice as one of the league’s top goal scorers. His lightning-quick toe-drag signature shot has put away teams across the NHL, making him a force to be reckoned with inside the rink. The American standout has made a name for himself in Canada and beyond, setting team records with the Toronto Maple Leafs and quickly solidifying himself as one of the purest goal scorers in the NHL. At just 21-years-old, Matthews knows exactly how to find the back of the net and he just keeps getting better and was awarded the Calder Memorial Trophy his rookie year after an unbelievable 40-goal season. However, his journey to the top has been nontraditional to say the least.
Matthews began attending Phoenix Coyotes games at just two years-old but wasn’t initially interested in the sport until he witnessed “The Goal” by Alex Ovechkin in 2006. He soon joined the Arizona Bobcats minor hockey program at the age of five and was mentored by Boris Dorozhenko, the founder of the Mexican national ice hockey program who had been living with Matthews and his parents.
Matthews was captivating on the ice and gained the attention of several NHL scouts during his time with the U.S. National U-17 Team. Due to an age restriction, he was unable to join the league at that time and opted to join the Swiss National League A, playing for the ZSC Lions on a one-year contract. The teenage Matthews found success in his first professional season and, despite playing among men many years his senior, he closed out the year as the recipient of the NLA Rising Star Award and placed second in the voting for MVP. Matthews was eligible for the 2016 NHL Draft, where he was selected first overall by the Toronto Maple Leafs.
During his first three seasons with the Maple Leafs, Matthews has contributed 30+ goals each season and helped his team secure a spot in the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the first time in 14 years.
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