How Auston Matthews became hockey’s hottest prospect


It’s an origin story that makes little sense. An 18-year-old kid from Scottsdale, Arizona – a place known for its cacti, golf courses, and desert nightlife – is the best prospect in hockey and the projected savior of the Toronto Maple Leafs.

But to fully understand how Auston Matthews got to where he is, you need to know that when he was a boy, he spent thousands of hours on tiny rinks – not much larger than an end zone – fighting off two or three other kids, stickhandling in and around masses of skates and sticks to score a half-dozen goals every game.

You need to learn about his skating coach, an eccentric Ukrainian named Boris who made players leap, pirouette and balance on their heels for so long they sometimes couldn’t walk the next day.

By: James Mirtle - The Globe and Mail
Photo by: Pascal Mora - The New York Times

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