Auston Matthews’ Calm Nature Assisted His Unlikely Path to the NHL: A Butterfly Effect

Some people believe in what’s called “the Butterfly effect”. For those of you who are unsure, the butterfly effect is a theory that acknowledges the smallest changes in an event, leading to hypothesized outcomes which are radically different to the reality many of us face today. Such a theory could be applied to the life of Auston Matthews.

The reason this is so relevant to the story Auston Matthews is because if the Winnipeg Jets had not relocated to Arizona in 1996, Matthews may not be a rising star in the NHL right now. Matthews’ was born in San Ramon, California on September 17, 1997, a year after the Jets relocated to Phoenix. Growing up, Matthews’ favourite players were Shane Doan and Daniel Briere, both of whom spent time with the Coyotes. His father believed he could’ve been a better baseball player due to his hand-eye coordination, but the younger Matthews’ cited the slow pace of baseball as to why he wouldn’t be able to carry on.

Matthews’ talent combined with his determination and dedication to the sport of hockey is why he has become one of the young phenoms of the NHL. There are several other young prospects, even some who play overseas or possess the potential, but in terms of pro-readiness and leadership, Auston Matthews is the best candidate to make the Toronto Maple Leafs perennial Stanley Cup contenders.

One small fact that may surprise many of you is how Matthews was fascinated by the Zamboni driving. It wasn’t the slap shots, the body checks, or even the celebration after scoring a goal. The machine that cleaned the ice rink was what caught the eye of a young Auston. This is where the “Domino effect” comes into play. The domino effect is when one single event sets off several others in a consecutive order. Sure, Auston Matthews definitely had interest in the Zamboni but it was the elements of the game of hockey that made grew his infatuation of the sport.


This next event is one that played a crucial factor in deciding Matthews’ future. As mentioned earlier, hockey was one of two sports that Auston excelled in. His father, Brian, played baseball in college so it was only fitting that Auston followed in his father’s footsteps. Brian Matthews had this to say regarding Auston’s preference to play hockey over baseball: “I think he loved baseball. But there was too much standing around for him. If he could have batted every 15 seconds he would have loved it. Waiting around for the pitcher to throw the ball, it wasn’t active enough for him.” At one point, Auston was even considered a better baseball player than his old man.

Auston also has very admirable traits. He’s quiet, calm and almost unshakable. He plays with confidence but he’s modest in the way he does it. You won’t see him yearning for attention, or trying to be flashy in anyway. He’s dominant in a silent way. It’s the type of player an organization dreams to build themselves around. An example would be after his NHL debut, where he scored 4 goals against the Ottawa Senators. Such an incredible feat had never been accomplished in modern NHL history. Instead of acting up and being ungracious about it, Matthews quickly pointed out the last play of the game was his fault, leading to a 5-4 OT win for the Senators.

There are several factors which could lead one to doubt the reality of Matthews’ story. The fact that his parents were clueless about hockey when he was just 2 years old or how talented he was that he could’ve possibly been a professional baseball player. There are several paths which may have prevented Matthews from being the star he is today. The important thing is that he’s on the world stage and is only going to get better and better. As if his story isn’t reason to enough to believe in his success, he just turned 20 years old and is already one of the most sensational and promising young athletes of our generation. Get ready, hold tight and strap in because Auston Matthews is about to take off.

Author: Manny Rao