Matthews smiles after U.S. victory

National Junior Team win the gold medal at the 2017 IIHF World Junior Championship in a 5-4 shootout win against Canada.

Matthews said he watched the game with a lot of his Toronto teammates in the team hotel.

Auston Matthews #34 of Team United States wraps around the net of Igor Shesterkin #30 of Team Russia in a quarterfinal round during the 2015 IIHF World Junior Hockey Championships at the Bell Centre on January 2, 2015 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.


Team Russia defeated Team United States 3-2.

Matthews, who earned a bronze medal playing for the United States in the World Juniors last year, knows he would have likely been in Montreal playing for gold if he wasn’t good enough to play for the Maple Leafs this season.

“Obviously the display the final four countries put on was elite hockey for that level,” said Babcock, who coached Canada to the gold medal at the 1997 tournament.

It’s a tough tournament to get nothing, but I thought all in all a real good tournament, real good hockey and there’s going to be lots of kids coming to the National Hockey League.”