Auston Matthews’ NHL debut was one of the most memorable moments in recent Toronto Maple Leafs history. The team’s first-overall pick in the 2016 draft scored four goals in his first NHL game, putting Toronto’s abysmal 2015-16 season firmly in the rearview mirror.
But, part of the rookie’s celebration involved partaking in the NHL’s randomly selected drug testing the very next day, as Craig Custance of The Athletic writes.
Matthews was at practice with his Toronto teammates when they showed up to give him another welcome to the NHL. He was part of the randomly selected no-notice drug testing that happens during the season under the NHL’s drug policy.
The scrutiny from drug testers carried right on into his second season.
“For some reason, my name got pulled every single time last year in the season,” Matthews said. “That was insane. Every time they showed up: ‘You. Matthews.’ Every time. I don’t know how many times they came to the rink. I think there was only one time where I didn’t get drug tested.”
On the ice, the young star scored 34-goals and 63-points in 2017-18, but off the ice he also scored his fair share of drug tests.
This season, though, Matthews’ performance should be enhanced only by the addition of John Tavares. Combining with the former New York Islanders’ captain, the pair should form one of the most dangerous 1-2 punches at the centre ice position.
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