Maple Leafs select Matthews with top pick


The top pick in the NHL Draft has been known for a while and the Toronto Maple Leafs made it official by selecting 18-year-old center Auston Matthews number one overall.

The Arizona-born Matthews made a name for himself while playing for Zurich of National League A in Switzerland.

Matthews, who is from Scottsdale, scored 24 goals in his first professional season to tie for fourth in the league and was second in voting for MVP.

While introducing Las Vegas as the NHL's newest expansion franchise, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman used Matthews as an example of how hockey can succeed in the desert. 

He is the first United States player picked number one overall since 2007, when Patrick Kane was taken by the Chicago Blackhawks. 

Ottawa Senators assistant Marc Crawford, who coached Matthews in Zurich, called him "the whole package" with "offensive skills [that] are off the chart".

Matthews could have an immediate impact for the Leafs, who have not had a top-flight center since Mats Sundin left in 2008.