Auston Matthews remembers having totally different pursuits than his teammates in his first few seasons within the NHL, however he was nonetheless intent on incomes their respect and never coming in “guns blazing.”

Yet sooner or later, Matthews merely stopped caring about his notion and made a selection many NHL gamers haven’t: To embrace these pursuits in a extra public discussion board, together with forward of his third NHL season when he took half in a prolonged GQ spread.

It wasn’t a spot NHL followers may need anticipated a hockey participant to seem, however that doesn’t hassle Matthews within the slightest.

“I just think, that’s who I am,” mentioned Matthews.

Undoubtedly Matthews’ otherworldly ability did a lot of the speaking, however his capability to stability his efficiency on the ice with pursuits not at all times seen from NHL gamers additionally serves as a reminder that extra individualism, no matter public notion, is a profit to the league itself.

At the NHL’s participant media tour forward of the season, a number of gamers referenced Matthews as somebody who may very well be a trailblazer with regards to showcasing persona.

“Auston likes to push back a little bit,” mentioned Oilers ahead Zach Hyman.

And Matthews doesn’t suppose that must be frowned upon.

“I don’t think it should be like, ‘You play hockey, this is how you’re supposed to act. And this is what you’re supposed to like,’” he mentioned.

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