Auston Matthews found out with certainty Thursday that it will add red to the white and blue of its regular Toronto colors in February.
The Leafs’ top scorer and 2021 Rocket Richard Trophy winner was among the first three starting players named to Team USA for the Beijing Olympics, joining Patrick Kane and defender Seth Jones.
“A great honor,” said Matthews. “I feel really lucky to have represented the United States before (at world championships), but the Olympics are the biggest stage there is.”
He could be on a collision course with his Toronto teammates John Tavares, Mitch Marner and defender Morgan Rielly, all considered Team Canada candidates.
“That will be a lot of fun,” said Matthews.
“We are all very close. I like to think that I know their game well and they will probably say the same to me. It’s been a while since the United States sat on top of that podium. Maybe we can change that. “
Matthews has had summer training sessions with Kane, an established and older scorer.
“We have skated together, but seeing what he does up close and in person is a pleasure. I try to take what I can for my game, choose his brain. “