Leafs’ Auston Matthews out at least 3 weeks, replaced by Aleksander Barkov for ASG

Reigning Hart Trophy winner Auston Matthews will be sidelined at least three weeks with a knee sprain, the Toronto Maple Leafs announced Friday.

The 25-year-old forward was injured during the Maple Leafs’ 3-2 overtime win against the New York Rangers on Wednesday night in Toronto. It wasn’t immediately clear how he got hurt.

“I noticed him in a little discomfort a couple times through the game,” head coach Sheldon Keefe said. “He was still sore the next day, so we brought him for an MRI and there was an injury there, so he’ll take some time.”

Auston Matthews out at least 3 weeks

auston matthews aleksander barkov
Mar 25, 2019; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Maple Leafs center Auston Matthews (34) controls a puck as Florida Panthers center Aleksander Barkov (16) defends during the second period at the Scotiabank Arena. Mandatory Credit: Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports

The NHL announced that Florida Panthers captain Aleksander Barkov will replace Matthews on the Atlantic Division Roster for the All-Star Game on Feb. 4.

Matthews has 53 points (25 goals, 28 assists) in 47 games this season.

He led the NHL with 60 goals and recorded 106 points in 73 games in 2021-22 to win the Hart Trophy as the league’s Most Valuable Player.

Matthews has recorded 510 points (284 goals, 226 assists) in 454 games since the Maple Leafs drafted him No. 1 overall in 2016.

Barkov will be making his second All-Star appearance (also 2018). The former Selke Trophy recipient has 43 points (13 goals, 30 assists) through 40 games in his 10th season with the Panthers.

With Matthews out, the Maple Leafs moved forward Pontus Holmberg into their top six ahead of Friday night’s game against the visiting Ottawa Senators.

Holmberg is a 23-year-old rookie with 12 points (five goals, seven assists) in 30 games this season. He was Toronto’s sixth-round pick in 2018.

–Field Level Media