Auston Matthews was the first top-ranked draft pick to score a hat-trick in his NHL debut. AIKO99AN/CC WIKIMEDIA

With the Toronto Maple Leafs full of young talent and viewed as a top contender to win the Stanley Cup, fans have a lot to be excited about.

This feeling of enthusiasm is an unfamiliar one, as adrenaline-filled moments for Leafs fans prior to this year were few and far between.

Nevertheless, this has made the moments that were cause for celebration even more memorable.

Growing up as an avid Leafs fan, one of my first moments was watching my hero, Leafs centre Mats Sundin, net his 500th career goal in dramatic fashion.

With the game tied 4–4 in overtime, Sundin, already with two goals on the night, picked up the puck at the Leafs blue-line, raced down the ice, and unleashed a slapshot over the shoulder of Calgary Flames goaltender Miikka Kiprusoff and into the back of the net.

A fitting entrance to the exclusive 500-goal-club for a Toronto sports legend.

A more recent memory that stands out is Leafs star Auston Matthews’ unforgettable first game.

In the 2016–2017 season opener, all eyes were on the rookie phenom. After scoring two goals in the first period, Leafs fans around the country erupted in celebration of our newest star.

But then, the unthinkable happened.

Matthews continued his offensive explosion, scoring a third goal early in the second period for the hat-trick. Already breaking records as the first top-ranked draft pick to score a hat-trick in his debut, Matthews scored another goal in the second, making him the first player in league history to score four goals in their regular season NHL debut.

Although these memories are great, nothing would be more memorable than the Leafs bringing Lord Stanley home to Toronto.

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