The most non-traditional hockey journey to one of the sports most history-laden franchises begins officially Wednesday night in Ottawa. Lorenzo Brown Jersey . Auston Matthews will pull on a Toronto Maple Leafs sweater for his first, real NHL game.The kid from Scottsdale, Arizona, who chose hockey over baseball six years ago, is now charged with being the Original Six teams savior as?the Leafs begin their Centennial season in the midst of a massive yet promising rebuild. At the middle of it all is Matthews, whose path from Arizona to Michigan to Switzerland and now Toronto is something to behold.There are so many things that run through your head, Brian Matthews told this week as his sons big moment approached. Probably a lot of the same stuff that was running through my head at the World Cup and at the draft: memories, emotions, road trips, all of these things that you thought were long lost and forgotten and they come rushing back in. You kind of relive moments that have nothing to do with whats happening at the time -- enjoyment and fun from previous years and how we got here.On Tuesday, young Auston -- along with linemate and fellow rookie William Nylander?-- was the last player to come off the ice at the teams practice facility in Toronto. A rink rat, like hes always been. There were no visible signs that it was the eve of a seminal moment in his young life.Afterward, the 19-year-old center allowed that he has indeed taken time to think what Wednesday night represents for him.Its going to be a dream come true. Its something that you think about ever since youre a little kid. My parents will be there. Its going to be a special moment.Brian and Ema Matthews, like many parents of gifted athletes, are central to the story. Ema lived with Auston last season when he played pro hockey in Switzerland during his NHL draft year, and this season it will be dad living with Auston in his Toronto pad.At some point we wont be there, well just be going to games, said Brian, a chief technological officer for a New Jersey-based manufacturing company. But this seemed to be the best possible plan for this transition.Matthews is still a kid, with enormous pressure on his shoulders, living in a foreign country. The decision to have dad live with his son seems awfully smart at this juncture.The job that his parents have done with him, with the maturity, the respectfulness and the politeness, it just comes out loud and clear, said Leafs GM Lou Lamoriello on Tuesday. We found that out right away when we had the opportunity to sit down with his parents and sisters. And then, spending some time with him, prior to the draft. He certainly has a presence about him, the way he handles himself beyond his age. Right now he just has to not expect too much of himself. He has to grow. Hes still young, [its his] first year in the league, there are a lot of highs and lows.To that end, the Leafs organization is ensuring that Matthews has only hockey to focus on this season. The demands are constant -- everyone in hockey-crazy Toronto wants a piece of young Matthews. But the Leafs, in conjunction with Matthews agent, Pat Brisson, are taking steps to make sure hes not overwhelmed.I have a tremendous respect and relationship with Pat Brisson, said Lamoriello. We talk often. Theres open communication about whats best for [Matthews] future. Everyone is on board.Matthews will be available to the media like any other player at practice and games, but Leafs PR director Steve Keogh will sift through the mountain of other daily requests to ensure that the young player isnt overrun.?Lamoriello believes the Leafs have a head coach who is perfectly suited to bring Matthews along -- and, in a way, protect him, too.Mike Babcock is, day in and day out, just outstanding at doing that, said Lamoriello. And I think thats basically our biggest asset, with the young group that we have.The season of pro hockey in Switzerland last season plus his experience at the IIHF world championships in Russia last spring and at the best-on-best World Cup in Toronto last month have all helped prepare Matthews for the level of competition hell face in the NHL.I think its benefitted me a lot, said Matthews. Just going against older, more mature players who have experience in the NHL and professional hockey for a long time.That Matthews chose the Swiss League last year, a tough test for a teenager, didnt surprise his father.Hes always sought after the best that he can go against, said Brian. It doesnt matter which sport. Hes always looking for another challenge. A big part is that hes willing to take on and accept the consequences; he just wants a shot. So if he gets to go up against the best, whether it was Switzerland or in Mini Mites, or now the NHL, thats all he wants -- that challenge, the ability to face it, to test his abilities, to see what he needs to work on.He knows he has a ton he has to learn, but you have to start somewhere and I think hes just looking forward to just getting it going.It was 31 years ago that Wendel Clark went from being taken with the first overall NHL pick by the Maple Leafs to rookie forward with the club just a few months later. Even though Matthews has benefitted from his pro experience during the past year, Clark says that his first official game wearing that Leafs uniform will be something that stands alone.The exhibition games are one thing, and playing in the World Cup certainly helps, but theres still that very first game, Clark said Tuesday. Thats the real kickoff to his career. That first game, the warm-up, putting the sweater on, its really happening now. Its fun.And to think, if the Winnipeg Jets hadnt moved to Arizona some 21 years ago, it might have never happened. Auston Matthews might have never have become a fan of the sport.I think he would have played baseball, it could have been football, it could have been a number of different sports, his father said. But if the Coyotes had not been in our backyard and he hadnt gotten that exposure early on ... I honestly would not give it a big chance as to where he would be from a hockey perspective today without the Coyotes being here. No doubt about that.The kid known affectionately by his family and friends as Papi is ready to take on the NHL. And with that, a franchise with a tortured past is officially set to the turn the page. OG Anunoby Jersey . Philadelphia is 2-0 against the Senators this season and scored five goals in each victory. The Flyers recorded a 5-0 win in Ottawa on Nov. 12 and then earned a 5-2 home decision on Nov. 19. The Flyers have claimed three straight and four of the last five encounters with the Sens overall and Philly has won two in a row and three of its past four tests in Canadas capital city. Norman Powell Jersey . -- Nathan Pancel scored twice as the Sudbury Wolves defeated the North Bay Battalion 4-2 on Saturday in Ontario Hockey League action. . Barcelonas entertaining victory ensured the defending Spanish champions retained their share of the league lead with Atletico Madrid two rounds ahead of their meeting in the capital. Real Madrid needed a late goal by substitute Jese Rodriguez to earn a 3-2 victory at Valencia to stay in third place and three points behind its title rivals. We have 11 games on tap Wednesday evening, which means there are plenty of players from which to choose. Our experts are here to give their recommendations on who to build around and who to skip in DFS.Building blockAl Zeidenfeld -- Carmelo Anthony, New York KnicksCarmelo has a reputation for being a very swingy player in daily fantasy. Its hard to bank on him to reach consistent levels of fantasy outputs that would be needed to pay off his salary on a night in, night out basis. That reputation was garnered when his price hovered from $8,500-$9,500 but this year his price has been very steady in the $7,500 range, where it sits today and at that price point hes done very well to score between 35 to 44 DraftKings points a night. His offensive volume is quite secure in a game that projects to have plenty of scoring.Joe Kaiser -- Kawhi Leonard, San Antonio SpursLeonard is averaging better than 26 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 steals per game, and he should have no problem surpassing those numbers tonight against a Houston defense that ranks 27th in the league, allowing 108.3 points per 100 possessions. Additionally, San Antonio has played only one game since last Friday, so Leonard should have fresh legs for this one.Jim McCormick -- Kevin Durant, Golden State WarriorsIn a game with one of the highest point totals of the slate and with the Mavericks allowing the sixth-most fantasy points per game to small forwards on DraftKings scoring model, Durant is an ideal building block given the combination of stable floor and high ceiling he offers. An awesome steal rate and at least one block in each game only adds to the already elite returns on offense, as we can expect around 50 fantasy points on both markets from Durant. Compared to the ultra-expensive point guards on tonights slate, we can save and still secure coveted cost certainty with Durant.FadeAl Zeidenfeld -- LaMarcus Aldridge, San Antonio SpursThe price is too high, his minutes are too volatile and therefore Aldridges fantasy point output versus his projected totals will have massive varriance from one night to the next. Tracy McGrady Jersey. As a result Id need LMA to be in the $5,700-$6,300 range to be comfortable playing him, but at his current levels, Ill pass.Joe Kaiser -- Harrison Barnes, Golden State WarriorsBarnes returns to Oakland to play the team he played on for the first four years of his NBA career, and hes going to be highly owned for a number of reasons. First and foremost, hes playing the best ball of his career, having scored over 30 points three times already this season. Secondly, hes still priced to buy (especially on FanDuel), making him a great value. And thirdly, there is the whole revenge narrative anytime a player faces his former team. When you look at all that, its difficult to leave Barnes out of your lineup tonight, but I think he could be a trap. The Warriors are 16-point favorites and there is certainly a big risk of this game turning into a blowout, especially with Deron Williams and Dirk Nowitzki out for Dallas, and the Mavs playing the second of a back-to-back. Barnes DFS production comes down to his scoring, and I could just as easily see him scoring under 10 points as I could see him scoring over 30 with emotions running high tonight.Jim McCormick -- Dario Saric, Philadelphia 76ersErsan Ilyasovas presence in the rotation limits Sarics minutes, and thus deflates his fantasy profile, as the selling point for this talented rookie heading into the season was supported by an expectation for steady exposure and opportunity. Once his price dips below say $4,000 on DraftKings, there will again be some interest, but until then, we can fade both Saric and Ilyasova given the sheer overlap of their roles.Al Zeidenfeld is a promoter & user at DraftKings (Username: Al_Smizzle) and plays on his personal account in games he offers advice on. These views/strategies are his own and do not reflect the views of DraftKings. He may also deploy different players/strategies than what he advises. ' ' ' 


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