Four goals in a debut for Auston Matthews. What else can be said about a feat that was the very first of it's kind in National Hockey League history, nothing. However, one of the more interesting things about his four goal game, is the fact it was the first hat trick by a Maple Leafs rookie in well over thirty years. The last Leaf rookie to score three in a game, Dan Daoust in 1983.
February 16, 1983, Toronto beat the visiting St.Louis Blues by a score of 6-3 behind the 24 saves of Rick St. Croix. The Leafs went into the game with a 14-30-10 record, the Blues not much better at 19-29-11. Daoust notched his first at 17:47 of the first beating Mike Liut to make it 2-0 Toronto. The assists went to John Anderson and Gaston Gingras. He made it 3-0 with an unassisted goal at 11:14 of the second. Two and a half minutes later he assisted on Rick Vaive's 38th goal of the year to make it 4-1 Toronto.
After the Blues made it 5-3, Daoust completed his hatty 6:35 into the third period on assists from Anderson and Jim Benning. The four points for Daoust gave him 30 points in his previous 21 games played.
The win was the first of six straight for Toronto and they went 14-10-2 to finish the season. Daoust finished his rookie campaign with 51 points in 48 games and a spot on the All-Rookie team. Still, Toronto was ousted in the first round of the playoffs by Minnesota by three games to one.