Auston Matthews, NHL
Only Alexander Ovechkin has scored more goals (356) than Matthews (339) since he entered the league in 2016. Markus Eriksson/

ALABAMA - For the ninth time in history and first since 2000, Toronto will be the host city of the National Hockey League's All-Star celebrations, which will take place this weekend. Between Feb. 1 and 4, the Canadian city will host a number of events, including the 68th NHL All-Star Game on Feb. 3 at 3 p.m. ET on ABC and ESPN+.

One of the team captains for this year is city icon Auston Matthews. He joined the NHL in 2016 after being selected with the first-overall pick in the draft. Widely regarded as a top prospect when entering the league, it is fair to say Matthews has not disappointed. Only 12 players in NHL history have scored more goals than Matthews (339) in their first eight seasons.

Since he entered the league in 2016, only legendary Russian hockey player Alexander Ovechkin has scored more goals (356). He led the league in goals in three seasons and has never scored less than 30 in a campaign since he entered the league.

Besides being the face of the Maple Leafs, Matthews has also been one of the most profitable faces in NHL in recent years. Thanks to his goals, he has been selected twice as the cover athlete for the NHL's video game franchise. In 2020, Matthews became the first player of Latino descent to be the cover star of an ice hockey video game.

Auston Matthews, NHL
Matthews made his EA Sports NHL debut in 2020; in 2022, he was also selected as the cover athlete thanks to his MVP season

Matthews is a proud Latino, hoping that his journey can serve as an inspiration for future generations. "Hockey is predominantly a white sport and I think it's important to encourage other communities and cultures to try," Matthews said in an interview during Hispanic Heritage Month in 2021. "I want to be someone that kids can look up to from Mexico and say 'he's half Mexican, he grew up in Phoenix and somehow found a way to make something of it,'" he concluded.

Auston Matthews on his Mexican background & Hispanic Heritage Month

Matthews will be one of the team captains of this year's All-Star teams, alongside Morgan Rielly and celebrity co-captain, Justin Bieber. Matthews will also take part in the NHL All-Star Skills Challenge, in the categories of hardest shot, accuracy shooting, one-timers and also in the passing challenge.

As the franchise player of one of the most storied teams in NHL, Matthews has the responsibility of taking the Toronto Maple Leafs back to a Stanley Cup. With the third-most appearances in Stanley Cup history (21), the Maple Leafs have failed to reach the championship series since 1967. They have qualified to the postseason in each of Matthews' first seven campaigns but have failed to advance past the first round in six occasions.

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