Auston Matthews (F) – USA
Auston Matthews played in two World Junior Championship tournaments in 2015 and 2016 when he was 17 and 18 years-old.
Matthews joined the US National Development Team at the age of 16 after scoring 55 goals and 100 points in 48 games of midget hockey, so Team USA knew the type of player they had in Auston Matthews.
During the 2015 U20 WJC tournament, Auston Matthews had a modest outing scoring a goal and adding two assists.
Matthews took the 2016 World Juniors by storm returning as an alternate captain for Team USA to lead the tournament with seven goals, and his 11 points were fourth most in the tournament. He was awarded with a spot on the U20 WJC All-Star Team and received an award as a Top 3 Player on Team USA as well as the Most Goals in the Tournament award and Team USA would take home the bronze medal.
At the time of the 2016 tournament, Matthews was already dominating professional men’s hockey in the Swiss league as an 18 year-old with Zurich SC and finished the season with 24 goals and 46 points in 36 games. He ranked fourth in goals and 10th in assists in the league.
His stellar play in the World Juniors, along with his dominance with the USDP and Zurich SC earned Auston Matthews his 1st round (1st overall) selection by the Toronto Maple Leafs in the 2016 NHL Entry Draft.
Auston Matthews was eligible to return for the 2017 World Junior Championships, but instead enjoyed his NHL rookie season with the Toronto Maple Leafs scoring 40 goals and 69 points in 82 games on his was to winning the Calder Memorial trophy as the NHL’s rookie of the year.
2016 World Juniors
Top 3 Payers on Team Award
Most Goals in the Tournament
7 Games, 7 Goals, 11 Points
2015 World Juniors
5 Games, 1 Goal, 3 Points
It’s hard to believe that a generational talent like Auston Matthews is only #6 on this list. Who could be in the Top 5?