Maple Leafs’ Auston Matthews Announced as NHL 22 Cover Athlete

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AP Photo/Jeff Chiu

Toronto Maple Leafs superstar Auston
Matthews was announced Thursday as the cover athlete for EA Sports’
NHL 22 video game.

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“I think it’s a good cover. Not
many people get to be on the cover of the video game. I consider
myself pretty lucky,” Matthews told ESPN’s Greg Wyshynski. “I
think it’s going to be a pretty sweet game.”

It’s the second time the 23-year-old
center has earned the honor after previously gracing the cover of NHL
20. The four-time All-Star told Wyshynski he’s not the biggest video
game fan, but if he does pick up the sticks it’s usually a sports
game.

“I’ve always played video games here
and there. I’ve never been a super-gamer kind of guy, but I do enjoy
playing them a lot,” Matthews said. “NHL is one that I always enjoyed playing, and
looked forward to getting every Christmas. But I played a little FIFA
once in a while, which gives you the itch to play the sport itself.”

Matthews, who underwent wrist surgery
Friday that’ll halt his offseason training for at least six weeks, is
coming off another standout year for Toronto.

The first overall pick in the 2016
draft led the NHL with 41 goals, which was eight more than the
second-ranked player (Edmonton Oilers’ Connor McDavid, 33), and also chipped in 25
assists for 66 points in 52 games.

Matthews has scored at least 34 goals
in all five of his seasons with the Leafs, finding the net a total of
199 times in 334 career games.

Toronto will start the 2021-22 season
Oct. 13 when it hosts the rival Montreal Canadiens.

NHL 22 is scheduled for an Oct. 15
worldwide release on Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, PlayStation 5 and
PlayStation 4.

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