Auston Matthews and the Leafs are starting to get to know each other.
Matthews, the presumptive first overall pick of the Leafs in this June’s draft, told TSN’s Darren Dreger in a one-on-one interview that he met with both Lou Lamoriello and Mark Hunter while in Russia for the World Championships.
Apparently it was the first time Matthews had met either of them, and described it as a “get to know you” type conversation.
“It was nice to meet them, talk to them, see what they thought. Get their thoughts on things,” Matthews told Dreger.
Matthews also reiterated that it would be exciting to be drafted by the Leafs first overall, calling Toronto the “Mecca” of the hockey world.
As is usually the case with these pre-draft visits, it sounds like the whole thing was pretty informal. Naturally, having never met each other, Matthews, and conversely Lamoriello and Hunter, really just want to get to know each other. And obviously, with Matthews a near-lock to be drafted by the team, it makes sense to get the relationship started in advance so he can begin to get comfortable with the people within the organization. After all, if everything goes smoothly, Matthews could be a Maple Leaf for a very, very long time.