Maple Leafs' Auston Matthews breaks a record set by Wayne Gretzky with scorching start

Even though Connor McDavid is largely accepted as the face of the NHL's next wave, there's a player who's even younger than McDavid who is breaking Wayne Gretzky-held records. Maples Leafs center Auston Matthews, 21, became the 12th and youngest player in NHL history to put up multiple points in the first five games of a season with a pair of goals against the Red Wings on Thursday, breaking a record set by then-22-year-old Wayne Gretzky in 1983.

Toronto is off to scorching 4-1 start this season, thanks in no small part to Matthews' efforts. He had a four-point game against the Blackhawks last Sunday, scoring two goals and picking up two more assists. He currently has nine goals and three assists on the season, and he's killing it in the fashion department too.

In the 1983-84 season, Gretzky had multiple points in the first seven games of the year before having his streak snapped. He finished the season with an outrageous 87 goals and 118 assists, good for one of his four 200-point seasons (no other player has ever had 200 points in a season, although Mario Lemieux came close with 199 in 1988-89).

While Leafs fans should hold off on celebrating the 147-goal 49-assist season that Matthews is on pace for, it's a thrilling start to the year for a Toronto team that could well be contending for the Stanley Cup. John Tavares had four assists against the Red Wings on Thursday, and he already put a hat trick under his belt in Matthews' four-point game against the Blackhawks. The Maple Leafs' 25 goals through five games outpaces the second-place Capitals by seven (though the Caps have only played four games).

The Maple Leafs' next challenge will be against those very same Capitals on Saturday, as they try to take down the defending Stanley Cup champs. The Capitals are currently 2-1-1 as they battle what has to be a killer Stanley Cup hangover, but they'll arguably be the Maple Leafs' toughest test so far this season.

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