As he was widely favoured to do, Auston Matthews has captured the Calder Trophy for the NHL's best rookie in 2016-17.
As the first overall pick in the 2016 Entry Draft, Matthews was expected to make an impact in his first NHL season. But his performance as a 19-year-old centre surpassed all expectations. Matthews finished with 40 goals, second only to Sidney Crosby in the entire league, and 29 assists. Matthews' goal total is the most for a rookie since Alexander Ovechkin scored 52 in 2005-06.
Auston Matthews broke several Toronto Maple Leafs rookie records last season:
Most goals by a rookie - 40
Most points by a rookie - 69
Most even strength goals by a rookie - 32
Most game winning goals by a rookie - 8
Most shots on goal by a rookie - 279
Auston won the award in one of the strongest rookie classes in living memory. The other finalists for the award--Columbus defender Zach Werenski and Winnipeg sniper Patrik Laine--would have been worthy winners in another year; so would Matthews' star rookie teammates, William Nylander and Mitch Marner. AM34's achievement is all the more impressive in light of his competition.
Matthews is the first Leaf to win the Calder Trophy since Brit Selby in 1966, and joins Alex Mogilny and Doug Gilmour as the only Leaf skaters to win major individual awards since the Original Six era. His rise, and that of his teammates, points to an incredibly bright future for the Maple Leafs.
1. Auston Matthews, TOR 1661 (164-3-0-0-0)
2. Patrik Laine, WPG 1106 (3-134-24-6-0)
3. Zach Werenski, CBJ 711 (0-21-93-28-15)
4. Matt Murray, PIT 346 (0-6-25-52-23)
5. Mitchell Marner, TOR 273 (0-3-14-42-56)
6. William Nylander, TOR 143 (0-0-7-24-36)
7. Matthew Tkachuk, CGY 72 (0-0-4-11-19)
8. Sebastian Aho, CAR 26 (0-0-0-4-14)
9. Ivan Provorov, PHI 2 (0-0-0-0-2)
10. Brayden Point, TBL 1 (0-0-0-0-1)
Brady Skjei, NYR 1 (0-0-0-0-1)