Matthews to play for ZSC Lions

Aaron Vickers2016 Draft Center, International Events

Auston Matthews, the projected No. 1 pick in the 2016 NHL Draft, will play the ZSC Lions in Switzerland, the club announced Friday.

The contract is reportedly a one-year deal. ZSC is coached by former NHL coach Marc Crawford.

Via ZSC’s website, “Auston Matthews residence permit got on the condition that it must be used only after his 18th birthday. The first use would therefore be scheduled for September 18, 2015. The authorization was granted under a bilateral agreement between Switzerland and the United States for young professionals.”

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.

Matthews missed the 2015 NHL Draft cutoff by two days and was rumored to join either the Everett Silvertips of the Western Hockey League or the Lions for the 2015-16 season. He was selected in the third round (No. 57) by the Silvertips in the 2012 WHL Bantam Draft.

He currently tops Future Considerations’ preliminary ranking in June.