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James van Riemsdyk, Auston Matthews provide the elusive American Leafs hat trick

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The last time two Americans on the Leafs got hat tricks in the same season? Almost 20 years ago.

NHL: Nashville Predators at Toronto Maple Leafs Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

At present, the Toronto Maple Leafs have six Americans on their roster: Auston Matthews, Ben Smith, James van Riemsdyk, Connor Carrick, Jake Gardiner, and Matt Hunwick.

Three of those guys are defencemen, and therefore, less likely to score multiple goals in a game. Multi-point games, sure; a hat trick, probably not.

So that brings us down to three.

Van Riemsdyk scored the second hat trick of his career against the Nashville Predators - and in doing so, helped the Leafs achieve something they hadn’t in nearly 20 years. Via the Elias Sports Bureau:

Van Riemsdyk, a New Jersey native, is the second player to post a hat trick for the Leafs this season, joining his fellow American, Auston Matthews, who scored four goals in his NHL debut on October 12 in Ottawa. This is only the second season in which two different U.S.-born players recorded hat tricks for Toronto. That also happened in 1988-89, when Eddie Olczyk and Tom Fergus each had a three-goal game for the Maple Leafs.

Can the Leafs go for the American hat trick, and get three different Americans to all have hat tricks in a single season? You’re up, Smith?


Well, Gardiner did score the first (and only) multi-goal game of his career back in March 2014. Maybe he’s due?