Zurich, Switzerland– After having won the bronze medal for the United States National team in the World Junior Championships two weeks ago. Prodigy Auston Matthews, the leading goal scorer at the event, has taken on great responsibilities now that he’s back with the ZSC Lions. The young American is seen by many to be the first one who will have his name called at the 2016 NHL Draft.
Described by every scout as an elite and complete center, Matthews was born two days too late to be eligible for the 2015 draft last year. At the time, it was evident that playing time would become crucial for the USA Under 18 National development program, where Matthews would have been in the race for the then first overall pick Connor McDavid and Jack Eichel. This year his respective agent Pat Brisson sent his prized prospect to the Lions in the Champion Hockey League in Europe. This allowed time for the budding Matthews to start learning how to play against professionals. The biggest reason for that was because this such level was the most comparable to the NHL.
Wearing the ”A” on his jersey at the world championship also proves that he is a leader and a team player. “He has everything a player needs to go further in this sport. His hockey IQ is exceptional, one of the reasons why he is so respected in the locker room.” These are the sentences that Marc Crawford, the Lions’ coach, delivered about his young star.
Already with 25 points in 22 games, Auston is ambitious to win a championship in Zurich during his first professional season. He is also looking forward to play with whoever NHL team will announce his name first at the next draft.
The 2016 NHL Entry Draft will be held from June 24–25, at the First Niagara Center in Buffalo, New York.