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preseason

Auston Matthews expected to make preseason debut

Maple Leafs forward says it will be 'pretty special to put on the jersey and get out there'

NHL.com @NHL

Forward Auston Matthews is expected to make his preseason debut for the Toronto Maple Leafs when they play the Montreal Canadiens at Air Canada Centre on Sunday (7 p.m. ET; SN, ONE, RDS).

"First real game with the [Maple] Leafs," Matthews told the Maple Leafs website. "It's going to be pretty special to put on the jersey and get out there."

Matthews, the No. 1 pick of the 2016 NHL Draft, skated between left wing William Nylander and right wing Zach Hyman during the morning skate Sunday.

"We're all different players," Matthews said. "We all bring different things to the table. I'm hoping we can mesh well and create some opportunities."

Matthews, 19, returned to the Maple Leafs Wednesday after playing for Team North America at the World Cup of Hockey 2016. He was expected to play his first game Friday against the Buffalo Sabres but instead practiced with the Maple Leafs' second group and did not travel to Buffalo.

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