Auston Matthews' Stats Already Rank Him Ahead of Ovechkin

Joe El-Khoury
August 10, 2023  (9:58)

Auston Matthews' entrance into the NHL in the 2016-17 season wasn't just an arrival; it was a statement.

When the Toronto Maple Leafs snapped him up as the first overall selection in the 2016 NHL Entry Draft, the whole trajectory of the team shifted.
Since then, Matthews has not only met expectations but transcended them, establishing himself as an utterly lethal goal-scorer and one of the premier talents in the game.

A Hot Start

Since the very first time the puck dropped in his career, Matthews has been in turbo mode.
Over the course of 7 seasons, he's amassed 299 goals and 542 points in 481 regular-season games, along with 22 goals and 44 points in 50 playoff appearances.
His name consistently ranks among the greats: 11th in points, 1st in goals, and 2nd in game-winning goals since his debut season.
Who can forget Matthews' astonishing debut against the Ottawa Senators? Scoring four goals in his first NHL game, he made it clear that he was in the league to make a mark.
He wrapped up his rookie season, earning the rookie-of-the-year honors, with an impressive 40 goals and 69 points.

What Do His Stats Tell Us?

Delve into the stats, and Matthews' brilliance shines even brighter.
Matthews' goal-scoring record is comparable to Ovechkin's, reaching 299 goals in 481 games compared to Ovechkin's 297 in 508 games.
It's a testament to his precision and reliability on the ice.
In terms of consistency, Matthews' performance is like clockwork, never dipping below 34 goals in a season - and that was in just 62 games.
The past 4 seasons? A blistering 47 in 70 games, 41 in 52 games, 60 in 73 games, and 40 in 74 games, even while dealing with a wrist injury that affected his shooting.
Poised at the brink of 300 goals, Matthews stands to become the 8th fastest player in NHL history to reach this landmark. He trails Ovechkin by only a mere few games, a feat that underscores the remarkable player Matthews has become.
He's part of a select group, boasting the 7th highest goals per game average in a player's first 7 seasons. T
his puts him in company with legends like Wayne Gretzky, Mario Lemieux, Mike Bossy, Brett Hull, Jari Kurri, and Teemu Selanne.
Even the great Alexander Ovechkin, often hailed as the best goal-scorer of this generation, falls a notch below Matthews in goals per game (0.61 to Matthews' 0.62).
Among his accolades, he's snagged 2 Rocket Richard Trophies, 1 Hart Trophy, and a Ted Lindsay Award.
Toronto's fortunes certainly changed with Matthews' arrival, but so did the landscape of the NHL.
His blend of skill, consistency, and sheer excitement on the ice ensures that every Matthews game is must-see TV. And with that 300th goal around the corner, all eyes will once again be on number 34, watching to see just how high he can soar.