Thanks to his goal on Thursday in a 7-3 win against the Winnipeg Jets, Toronto Maple Leafs forward Auston Matthews hit the 50-goal mark for the first time in his career.
He is the first player in the league to reach 50 goals this season and the first Maple Leafs player to score 50 goals since Dave Andreychuk during the 1993-94 season. Matthews is just the fourth different Maple Leafs player to ever score 50 goals in a single season, joining Andreychuk, Rick Vaive (three times) and Gary Leeman.
Vaive, with 54 during the 1981-82 season is currently the all-time single season franchise record and it seems to only be a matter of when Matthews tops that this season.
He still has 15 games remaining this season to score five more goals.
Along with hitting the 50-goal mark and potentially setting the franchise single season record, Matthews is also leading the league in goal scoring for the second year in a row. He paced the league with 41 goals in 52 games during the shortened 2020-21 season.
Matthews has consistently been one of the league’s best goal scorers from the moment he entered the league, already scoring 249 goals in his first 395 career games. That averages out to a 51-goal pace per 82 games. The only thing that has kept him from consistently hitting that number is injuries and the past two shortened seasons.