Auston Matthews named to US National Team for World Championship

Darryl Belfry was the difference maker in elevating John Tavares' skills, now Auston Matthews, the projected number one draft pick in 2016, hopes Belfry’s coaching ensures he’s the next great talent to enter the league.

The United States Men’s National Team has named its first player to the roster ahead of May’s IIHF World Championship and just happens to be the one who may be selected first overall at the NHL Draft in June.

Auston Matthews will join Team USA for the tournament, USA Hockey announced Thursday.

Matthews spent the 2015-16 season with the Zurich Lions in Switzerland’s National League A. The 18-year-old totalled 24 goals and 46 points in 36 games and was the recipient of the league’s Rising Star Award.

Matthews played in an exhibition game with the U.S. National Team prior to the start of the 2015 World Championship.

USA Hockey will announce additional players as well as its coaching staff in the coming weeks.

The World Championship starts May 6 and is being held in Moscow and St. Petersburg, Russia.