With the first overall selection at the 2016 NHL Entry Draft, the Maple Leafs selected Auston Matthews, the top prospect rated by the Central Scouting Bureau.
Matthews, 18, spent the past season with the ZSC Lions of the Swiss National League. The Scottsdale, Arizona native collected 46 points in just 36 games and was runner-up for the league’s most valuable player award. He also registered six goals and nine points in 10 games at the 2016 IIHF World Championships for Team USA.
“He’s an elite player with an elite drive train,” Leafs coach Mike Babcock said to reporters at the draft in Buffalo, New York. “A big-bodied guy who makes players better.”
Matthews is the first Leafs player to be drafted first overall since Wendel Clark in 1985.