Auston Matthews to play next season in Europe


Auston Matthews, the potential No. 1 pick in next year's NHL Draft, could be coach Marc Crawford's ticket back to the NHL if all goes well in Europe this season. (Minas Panagiotakis/Getty)

It appears that 17-year-old phenom Auston Matthews will spend the 2015-16 season overseas.

Cox reported earlier this month that several clubs from Switzerland had reached out to Matthews’ camp to gauge his interest in playing next season in Europe.

The Everett Silvertips of the Western Hockey League hold his junior rights, but he also had plenty of NCAA suitors for his “one-and-done” year.

The dominant American forward is not eligible to be drafted into the NHL until 2016 because he is born after the Sept. 15 deadline.

“If he was in this year’s draft he’d be right up there and talked about in the same breath with [McDavid and Eichel],” NHL Director of Central Scouting Dan Marr recently told “The thing about Auston is, game in and game out for two years now, it’s been the same thing. He only knows one speed and that’s full speed, and he does it at practice and game situations.”

The Arizona native helped the U.S. team capture a gold medal at the world under-18 tournament before holding his own at the world championships in Czech Republic.

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