It was a historic night for 2016 first overall draft pick Auston Matthews. The 19-year-old rookie Toronto Maple Leafs centre became the first player in the modern era to score four goals on his NHL debut. He was the first ever top pick, and the first player since Derek Stepan to score a hat trick in his first NHL game.
Auston Matthews Historic First Night; But Ottawa Senators Win
However, the four goals were not enough, as Kyle Turris tied the score at four in the third period, and scored again in overtime to give the Ottawa Senators a 5-4 victory at the Canadian Tire Centre. The other Senators goals came from Bobby Ryan, Derrick Brassard and Erik Karlsson.
Matthews was the fifth player with three goals in his NHL debut since 1943-44. Derek Stepan with the New York Rangers scored a hat trick in October 2010. Alex Smart of the Montreal Canadiens had three goals in 1943. Real Cloutier turned in a hat trick for the Quebec Nordiques in 1979, and Fabian Brunnstrom scored three goals for the Dallas Stars in 2008. It should be noted that Cloutier had played five years of WHA hockey before scoring his hat trick.
“It’s just one game, take it, move forward and focus on the next one,” Matthews said to reporters after the game. “Not every night, you’re not going to score four goals, this happened to be a great night individually, especially for our line.”
OTTAWA, ON – OCTOBER 12: Auston Matthews #34 of the Toronto Maple Leafs celebrates his fourth goal of the game in his first career NHL game with team mate William Nylander #29 against the Ottawa Senators at Canadian Tire Centre on October 12, 2016 in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Jana Chytilova/Freestyle Photography/Getty Images)