The Toronto Maple Leafs had high hopes for Auston Matthews when he was drafted first overall in the 2016 NHL Draft. But, I bet they didn’t expect him to contribute at this high of a level so quickly.

Matthews scored the first goal of the NHL season, on a nifty feed from Zach Hyman to give the Leafs a 1-0 lead over the Ottawa Senators. Not a bad start to a promising career.

For good measure he scored again. Scoring an absolute beauty on Craig Anderson. Matthews deked through Norris winner Erik Karlsson making him look silly. That’s frankly incredible.

You think Matthews was done there? Nah. Why not add a third goal for good measure? With the game deadlocked at 2-2, Matthews scored again just 1:25 into the second period. Matthews scored on a gorgeous pass from defenseman Morgan Rielly, making no mistake quickly snapping the puck past Anderson.

With the hat-trick, Matthews became the fifth player in NHL history to score a hat trick in his NHL debut.

Oh, but he wasn’t done! FOUR GOALS.

Leafs fans have been waiting a long time for a star, franchise player. With Matthews, it appears they’ve got exactly that and then some. Matthews special debut should have Leafs fans drooling about the next step forward for the franchise. If Matthews debut is any indication of future returns, damn, the Leafs have themselves a player.

About Liam McGuire

Social +Staff writer for The Comeback & Awful Announcing.