Auston Matthews, forward for the Toronto Maple Leafs, became the first player to score four goals in his first NHL game, against the Ottawa Senators on Wednesday, October 12, according to nhl.com.
Matthews, a 19-year-old from Scottsdale, Arizona, was selected with the number one overall pick in June’s draft, according to usatoday.com.
Just eight minutes into the game, Matthews scored his first career goal. Eight minutes later, Matthews scored his second goal of the period. He later in the second period ripped a wrist shot from the face-off circle, making him one of only five players in modern NHL history to record a hat trick in his first game, according to theguardian.com.
“I’ve never seen anything like it,” Maple Leafs’ coach Mike Babcock said to The Associated Press after the game. “He’s a good player. You see that second goal he scored, not many guys do that.”
With a fourth goal just before the end of the second period, Matthews became the first player to score four goals in his NHL debut.
Four players since the 1943-44 season scored three goals in his NHL debut: Alex Smart (Montreal Canadiens, 1943), Real Cloutier (Quebec Nordiques, 1979), Fabian Brunnstrom (Dallas Stars, 2008) and Derek Stepan (New York Rangers, 2010). Joe Malone and Harry Hyland each scored five goals in his NHL debut in 1917, according to nhl.com.
Matthews’ goals accounted for all of Toronto’s scoring, as the Leafs fell to Ottawa 5-4 in OT, according to usatoday.com.
“I couldn’t believe that was happening out there,” Matthews told The Associated Press after the game.