Scottsdale’s Matthews named to U.S. National Team
Scottsdale native and Arizona Bobcats grad Auston Matthews, who spent the 2015-16 campaign as a member of the Zurich Lions in the National League A, Switzerland’s top professional league, has been named to the 2016 U.S. Men’s National Team that will compete at the IIHF Men’s World Championship May 6-22 in Moscow and St. Petersburg, Russia.
Matthews is the first player named to the team. Additional players, as well as the coaching and support staff, will be named in the coming weeks.
Last year, Matthews skated in an exhibition game with the U.S. Men’s National Team prior to the 2015 IIHF Men’s World Championship, becoming the first player to play at that level before entering their draft-eligible season.
This will be the fifth time Matthews has represented the United States in IIHF competition. A two-time gold medalist with the U.S. Men’s National Under-18 Teams (2014, 2015), Matthews most recently helped the U.S. capture the bronze medal in the 2016 IIHF World Junior Championship in Helsinki, Finland.
In his first professional season in Zurich, Matthews collected 46 points (24 goals, 22 assists) in 36 games to earn the league’s Rising Star Award.
Prior to his time in Zurich, Matthews played two seasons at USA Hockey’s National Team Development Program, where he recorded 167 points (79-88) in 104 games.
Matthews is also ranked No. 1 for June’s NHL Draft in Buffalo.