It’s been a pretty good 2017 so far for Auston Matthews. Not only did the Toronto Maple Leafs’ 19-year-old rookie score two goals (including the overtime game-winner) in the outdoor Centennial Classic on New Year’s Day, but he followed that up by delivering one of the best assists of the year.
It came as the Leafs took on the Capitals on Tuesday night in Washington. During a second period shift, Matthews refused to be knocked off the puck and eventually carried the puck behind the Caps’ net and delivered an utterly absurd no-look pass to the stick of Leo Komarov, who somehow anticipated the pass and buried the puck into the back of the net. It was one of the best assists that will be seen across the entire NHL this year, and it came from one of the game’s most promising teenagers.
Not to be overlooked here is Komarov’s goal celebration, which featured him trying to console Washington defenseman Brooks Orpik. It appears Opik wasn’t too fond of the gesture.