According to Swiss news outlet Limmattaler Zeitung, Auston Matthews is experiencing work permit issues. These issues may prevent Matthews from joining the Zurich Lions of the Swiss hockey league for the 2015-16 season.
Sounds like Auston Matthews won’t be allowed to play in Switzerland this year. Wondering if this means Everett for sure.
— Pete Judge (@PeteJudgeJH) June 28, 2015
According to the report, the issue is that Auston Matthews has not played in a full season of professional hockey prior to signing with the Lions. This lack of experience makes him ineligible for a work visa for the new season.
This may lead to Matthews having to join the Everett Silvertips of the Western Hockey League. He has previously ruled out playing in the NCAA.
It is only early in the offseason so there is still potential that he will join a different European team.
Matthews is considered the #1 prospect for the 2016 NHL Entry Draft. He had a very impressive 2014-15 season where he broke Patrick Kane’s record of 102 points with the under-18 US National Development Program team by scoring 116 points in 60 games. In addition to breaking that longstanding record, Matthews played averaged 2 points per game playing with the USNTDP Juniors in 24 USHL games.
At the end of his regular season, Matthews traveled to Switzerland to play in the under-18 World Junior Championships where he led the tournament in scoring and helped Team USA win a gold medal. For his efforts, Matthews was named the tournament’s best forward and the tournament MVP.
Auston Matthews is highly decorated for a 17 year old. However, he misses the cut off day for the 2015 NHL Entry Draft by literally two days. His Canadian Hockey League rights are owned by the Everett Silvertips of the Western Hockey League and he has no NCAA commitment.
On May 10th it was reported that he had signed with the Zurich Lions of the Swiss League. That report proved to be a rumor.