Matthews invited to US WJC camp

Aaron Vickers2016 Draft Center, International Events0 Comments

Forward Auston Matthews, the consensus top pick for the 2016 NHL Draft, was among the 29 players invited to USA Hockey’s selection camp for the 2016 IIHF World Junior Championship.

The native of Scottsdale, AZ, recorded 116 points for the NTDP U18 club in 2014-15, breaking a record set by current Chicago Blackhawks standout and former first overall pick Patrick Kane in 2005-06. He also had eight goals and 15 points in seven games at the IIHF World Under-18 Championship and two assists and three points in the 2015 IIHF World Junior Championship.

“He will be the centerpiece of the American offensive attack in Finland,” Future Considerations scouting director Dan Stewart said. “Matthews will use his size, strength, compete level and offensive sense to put up points and lead this squad.”

Matthews, who couldn’t represent the United States at the Deutschland Cup in November, has 11 goals and 20 points in 19 games for ZSC of the Swiss league.

“He picked up his play really fast after returning from injury,” Future Considerations’ Swiss scout Dennis Schellenberg said. “Wasn’t noticeable at all that he missed games. He is one of the more dominant players on a top team in the Swiss league and plays well in the majority of the games.”

He is one of eight players eligible for the 2016 draft.

Forward Matthew Tkachuk of the London Knights and Boston University defenseman Charles McAvoy could join Matthews in Finland.

“Tkachuk could play a prime scoring line role or down in the bottom six for the Americans,” Stewart said. “His high compete, grit and smarts will allow him to thrive in any role. Also, the USA could really use McAvoy’s puck movement skills getting the puck up ice to the teams skilled forwards as well as joining the rush himself. He will also not hurt you defensively as he is a solid positional defender.”

Goaltender Tyler Parsons, defenseman Chad Krys and forwards Clayton Keller and Kiefer Bellows from the NTDP were also named to the selection camp roster.

To view the full roster, please click HERE.

The 2016 IIHF World Junior Championship will be hosted in Helsinki, Finland. It begins on December 26, 2015, and will end with the gold medal game on January 5, 2016.

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