Top NHL draft prospect Auston Matthews is close to returning to the lineup for Zurich of Switzerland’s National League.
Matthews has been on the shelf since suffering a back injury on Oct. 23. The 18-year-old had 10 goals and 17 points in his first 14 games prior to the injury.
The native of Scottsdale, Ariz. opted to play professional hockey in Switzerland in his draft-eligible year rather than ply his trade in the North American junior ranks or NCAA.
Matthews is widely regarded as the best available prospect ahead of next June’s draft.
Zurich head coach, and former NHL coach, Marc Crawford has called Matthews the “best player in our league.”