Any time the top two draft picks from an NHL draft face off against each other there is always extra hype. Wednesday night marked that milestone game for Auston Matthews and Patrik Laine, the two top picks from the 2016 NHL Entry Draft.
These two young guns certainly did not disappoint.
Patrik Laine scored his first career NHL hat trick, including the game-winning goal with 2:20 left in overtime, as the Winnipeg Jets completed an epic comeback to defeat the Toronto Maple Leafs 5-4.
Laine, the second overall pick in the 2016 NHL Entry Draft, scored after Matthews, the first overall pick, was stopped on a breakaway by Jets goalie Michael Hutchinson.
“It was just two against one,” Laine said of his overtime goal. “I’m better two against one from the other side so I decided to shoot. … It just went right where I wanted it to be. It was an amazing feeling.”
Matthews managed to collect an assist in the loss.
There is no doubt Matthews has already been part of some difficult losses with the Maple Leafs. In this one, his side had a 4-0 lead. In fact, this game marks the first time in Winnipeg Jets history the club has come back from a four-goal deficit.
Matthews and the Leafs also lost the season opener in crushing overtime fashion after Matthews scored four goals in his NHL debut.
Congratulations are in order to Patrik Laine on such a magical night. It will be interesting to see if he can continue that magic in his next contest against Connor McDavid and the Edmonton Oilers.
McDavid, Matthews and Laine are under immense pressure to change the state of Canadian hockey. So far, all three have proven extremely early on that they are ready for the challenge.
Featured Image Credit: Jonathan Kozub-NHLI via Getty Images