Leafs’ Zach Hyman a Key Cog for Auston Matthews’ Success
Yes, it was an Auston Matthews homecoming in the desert on Friday, but the explosive Leafs rookie was sure to have his sidekick along for the ride.
While Matthews is so talented that he would likely be enjoying success with whoever his linemates are, the work of winger Zach Hyman shouldn’t be underestimated. Together for the first 32 games of the Leafs season, it has been a perfect match in an impressive rookie season for both.
Whether it’s creating space, or wreaking havoc in front of the opposition net, Hyman’s gritty hustle has been a big part of Matthews’ early evolution.
“The strengths of (Hyman’s) game complement the strengths of Auston’s game,” Leafs forward James van Riemsdyk said. “He’s very good at getting in on the forecheck and disrupting things and getting pucks back.
“He’s really effective at going to the net hard, does all of those detail things that make a big difference.”