EA Sports revealed which superstar will grace the cover of their popular game NHL22. Maple Leafs center and reigning Rocket Richard winner Auston Matthews is on it again. He first made it as the cover athlete back for NHL20.
While some hockey fans were upset with EA’s decision to use Matthews again, the 23 year-old of course has bigger concerns.
Auston Matthews: “I truly believe that we’re going to get it done”
Last week, Matthews spoke with ESPN after being announced as EA’s cover athlete. The topic of last season’s playoff loss in the opening round came up and he laid it all out there.
“It’s obviously really frustrating. It sucks right now,” Matthews said. “People have opinions and they can say what they want, and rightfully so, but I really believe in the team and I really believe in all of the players on the team.”
Despite his disappointment in how they lost to the Canadiens, Matthews’ belief in the core of the Leafs remains unshaken. “I truly believe that we’re going to get it done,” he explained. “We’re going to be better from our losses, and from the adversity that we faced.”
The Leafs were rattled by the loss of John Tavares in the opening game, and the series may have gone different if he was healthy. Same goes for Matthews who was hampered by injuries of his own.
Matthews wrist surgery
Auston Matthews played through pain last season. Despite a lingering wrist issue, he was still able to take home some NHL hardware.
On August 14, the team announced Matthews had wrist surgery and that the operation was a success. However; the timetable on his return is six weeks. With the regular season set to begin Oct. 12, Matthews likely won’t miss any official games, though he might miss part of training camp.
Matthews hurt his wrist during on-ice training, according to the Maple Leafs, who added that the decision regarding surgery was made by the team’s medical staff along with outside specialists.
Matthews scored 41 goals in 52 games last season to capture the Maurice Richard Trophy (NHL goal leader). His 12 game-winning goals also were a league high, and he tied for fifth with 66 points.
In five NHL seasons, all with Toronto, Matthews has scored at least 34 goals each campaign, topped by 47 in 2019-20.
Season six may be the biggest of the young center’s career.