Auston Matthews is a man on a mission for the Toronto Maple Leafs this season. The American superstar forward put the entire league on notice early, opening the 2023-24 campaign with back-to-back hat tricks.

He's the fifth player in NHL history to accomplish the feat, and first to do so since Alex Ovechkin put together consecutive three-goal games in 2017-18.

You don't expect back-to-back hat tricks, of course,” head coach Sheldon Keefe said on Saturday night. “But I've gotten somewhat comfortable and used to Auston having big nights and making a big impact. You do so on back-to-back nights to start a season, it's terrific.”

“Wow, I think he's been incredible,” William Nylander echoed, who scored two goals of his own in a 7-4 win against the Minnesota Wild. “Taking pucks to the net, scoring all kinds of goals. He's been dialled in.”

Before Ovechkin accomplished the feat six seasons ago, back-to-back opening season hat tricks hadn't been seen in the league since Cy Denneny, Reg Noble and Joe Malone all did it in 1917-18.

It's been an incredible start for the Leafs lifer, and Matthews is showing no signs of slowing down. He got the ball rolling with three goals in a 6-5 home opening victory against the Montreal Canadiens, and potted another trio against the Wild on Saturday.

The 26-year-old is already fifth on the Leafs' single-season goal record, and fifth on the franchise's all-time tallies list. He's won the Rocket Richard Trophy twice, leading the league with 41 goals in 52 games in 2020-21, and again with 60 in 73 the following season.

Auston Matthews will look to achieve something that's never been done before: back-to-back-to-back hat tricks when the Leafs welcome Connor Bedard and the Chicago Blackhawks to Scotiabank Arena on Monday night.