“A way to drive them” – Auston Matthews’ journey from Arizona to Hart Trophy serving as inspiration

Auston Matthews' journey towards the Hart Trophy is bringing in inspiration for kids in non-traditional United States hockey markets.

Auston Matthews
Auston Matthews
FirstSportz News

Toronto Maple Leafs’ centre and alternate captain Auston Matthews’ quest from the desert to the Hart Trophy has served as an inspiration for kids in the non-traditional United States hockey markets. Cutter Gauthier, a centre and left-winger ranked third among the North American skaters in the 2022 NHL Central Scouting Rankings and came out fifth in Bob McKenzie’s recent final draft rankings, has followed Matthews’ way of playing closely ever since.

Cutter’s hockey path mirrors that of Matthews who was selected as the no. 1 by the Leafs in the 2016 NHL Draft. For Cutter, Matthews winning the 2022 Hart Trophy as the MVP is an added incentive for the young players of the Sun Belt. Cutter said, “I think it’s pretty cool”. “It shows it doesn’t really matter where you’re from as long as you work hard. And if you work hard every single day, good things will happen.”

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Auston Matthews’ success becomes an inspiration for young players

Auston Matthews wins the 2022 Hart Memorial Trophy
Auston Matthews wins the 2022 Hart Memorial Trophy

On June 21, Auston Matthews was also named to the Ted Lindsay Award, given annually to the most outstanding player as voted by members of the National Hockey Leagues Player’s Association. The only other U.S born player to win the Hart or Lindsay Trophy was Patrick Kane of the Chicago Blackhawks, as said on nhl.com.

Matthews commented, “He was the guy I grew up watching, so maybe this generation of kids will look at me the same way,”. “The thing is, where I came from never really was a thought for me when it came to playing. I loved doing it and had fun doing it.” “If kids from markets where I came from look at my success as a way to drive them, that’s cool. As long as they enjoy it.”

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Don Granato coached both Auston Matthews and Patrick Kane. He said, “Patrick is from here in the Buffalo area, which is hockey-crazy”. “Auston’s road to the NHL, from where he grew up, we haven’t really seen too many stories like his. Maybe now we’ll see more.” He continued to state, “These people put in so much work and ask for little in return. “

Imagine the motivation now for some of those people, especially in nontraditional markets, places like Alaska and Arizona, at seeing what Auston has accomplished. Suddenly they look at him and say: ‘Hey, maybe we can help develop the next NHL superstar even from the market we’re from.’ “It drives people because they’ve seen it’s happened before.”

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