To prepare for the 2022-23 NHL season, the NHL Network ranked the top 50 players in the League. A variety of researchers, producers, and on-air personalities voted to rank the players. The list was compiled from their votes.
On Sunday, October 9, the list of the Top-10 players was revealed. Auston Matthews made the list at #3 after the Edmonton Oilers’ Connor McDavid at #1 and the Colorado Avalanche Cale Makar at #2.
Matthews Is Beginning to Be Recognized Around the NHL
According to the NHL Network, the evidence of Matthews’ quality as a player can be seen in the hardware he’s collected for his trophy room. Specifically, last season he carried home the Hart Trophy as NHL’s MVP (voted on by the members of the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association). He also was voted to be the Ted Lindsay Award winner by his peers (the award is given annually to the most outstanding player in the NHL as voted by members of the NHL Players’ Association.)
Matthews also won the Rocket Richard Trophy when he became the first player in the NHL to score 60 goals since 2011-12. Those 60 goals were the most goals ever scored in a single season by any Toronto player and the most ever scored by a player who was born in the United States.
What Makes Auston Matthews So Good?
What makes the 25-year-old Matthews so good is his scoring prowess. Last season, in addition to his 60 goals, he also tied for sixth in the NHL with 106 points. Among those points were 16 power-play goals (he ranked third in the NHL in that category) and 10 game-winning goals (he ranked fifth in the NHL in that category. In addition, Matthews is consistent. Over his six NHL seasons, he’s scored at least 34 goals each season – even the COVID-19-impacted shortened seasons.
During the six seasons he’s been in the NHL, he leads the league with 259 goals. However, over the years Matthews has also improved his defensive game. He’s truly a 200-foot player.
Former NHL Goalie Kevin Weeks Predicts Matthew Might Score 70 Goals
As former NHL goalie Kevin Weekes said about Matthews, “This guy with every touch, he can score.”
Weekes then doubled down by predicting that he believes Matthews, “if he is healthy for 82 (games), he’s going to score north of 65, I’ll take the over, he might even score 70; he is that great.”
Finally, Weekes added, “To me, Auston Matthews is the best Toronto Maple Leaf I’ve ever seen.”
He’ll get no argument from me on that point.