Today, Swiss National League A club ZSC (Zurich) Lions tweeted out that Auston Matthews, the Arizona-bred phenom projected to go No. 1 overall at next year’s draft, will suit up for them next year rather than play junior hockey for WHL Everett Silvertips.
Matthews will be playing under the guidance of an NHL experienced head coach in Marc Crawford.
Crawford brings plenty to the development table for Matthews. With more than 500 wins during a 16-year NHL Crawford knows what it takes to get a player ready for the NHL. He captured the Jack Adams as the NHL’s top coach in 1995 and, a year later, helped the Colorado Avalanche win the first Stanley Cup in franchise history.
The news comes after months of speculation and European bureaucratic red tape concerning work permit issues. Matthews will have to wait until he turns 18 (in mid-September) before playing in regular season games, but no restrictions exist to prevent him from training with the team until that time.
TJHN will update this story as more information becomes available.