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McDavid: Matthews will 'probably have it worse' as rookie in Toronto

Jeff Vinnick / National Hockey League / Getty

Auston Matthews is in for a wild ride, and his Air Canada Centre debut at the World Cup is just the beginning.

So says North American linemate Connor McDavid, who knows a thing or three about being a much-hyped rookie stepping into a hockey-crazed market.

"There was a bunch of pressure, (but Auston's) probably going to have it worse here in Toronto than I did in Edmonton," McDavid said Sunday, per Mark Masters of TSN. "He’s going to go though a lot, but he’s ready for it. He’s a good player with a good head on his shoulders."

In fairness, McDavid didn't get to play through a full season with the Oilers after suffering a serious shoulder injury back in November that forced him out of half the campaign.

Had he played in all 82 games and been in the running for, say, a scoring title and playoff spot, then perhaps the pressure would have been ramped up a little higher.

Nevertheless, Toronto is a special animal in the hockey landscape, and Matthews is seen as the strongest building block for a Maple Leafs team looking to return to competitiveness.

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