Auston Matthews (Scottsdale, Ariz.), a product of USA Hockey’s National Team Development Program, which plays in the United States Hockey League, was selected first overall by the Toronto Maple Leafs at the 2016 NHL Entry Draft.
Matthews becomes the first American selected first overall since Patrick Kane (Buffalo, New York), was selected by the Chicago Blackhawks at the 2007 NHL Entry Draft in Columbus, Ohio. On Wednesday, Kane, a three-time Stanley Cup champion (2010, 2013, 2015) and two-time member of the U.S. Olympic Men’s Ice Hockey Team (2010, 2014), became the first American-born and -raised player to receive the Hart Memorial Trophy as the NHL’s most valuable player after the 2015-16 season saw him become the first American-born player to lead the league in scoring with 106 points (46-60). For his performance, Kane was also named the recipient of the Ted Lindsay Award as the league’s most outstanding player.
Matthews was born and raised in Scottsdale, Arizona, where youth hockey has increased by 34 percent in the last decade. Matthews has represented the United States at one International Ice Hockey Federation Men’s World Championship (2016), two IIHF World Junior Championships (2016 – bronze, 2015), and two IIHF Under-18 Men’s World Championships (2015 – gold, 2014 – gold). During his time with USA Hockey’s NTDP, Matthews set single-season program records in 2014-15 for goals (44) and points (117).