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Matthews still mulling options for next season

by Mike G. Morreale / NHL.com

Auston Matthews, the projected No. 1 pick in the 2016 NHL Draft, still is mulling his options on where he will continue his hockey career in 2015-16.

Matthews confirmed Sunday that in addition to the NCAA and Canadian Hockey League route, he is considering playing in Switzerland. He didn't identify which team he was considering but did say it likely would be with a team in the top division of the Swiss professional league.

"I am looking at all opportunities," Matthews told NHL.com via a text message. "Switzerland, Everett [Silvertips in the Western Hockey League] and the CHL, as well as the NCAA are all great options for me. I am speaking with my family and advisers Pat Brisson and Judd Moldaver and will probably make a decision soon."

Matthews is coming off a record-setting season with the United States National Team Development Program under-18 team. His 55 goals and 117 points broke records set by Chicago Blackhawks star Patrick Kane (52 goals, 102 points) in 2005-06. Matthews also was named most valuable player and best forward while helping the United States win the gold medal at the 2015 IIHF World Under-18 Championship last month.

If Matthews opts for college, his destination could be one of six schools: Boston University, Boston College, the University of Michigan, the University of Denver, the University of North Dakota or the University of Wisconsin. Everett owns his CHL rights; the Silvertips selected Matthews in the third round (No. 57) of the 2012 WHL bantam draft.

Matthews, born Sept. 17, 1997, missed the cutoff for the 2015 NHL Draft by two days. If he were eligible for the 2015 draft, most scouts, including NHL Director of Central Scouting Dan Marr, believe he would be among the top three selections, along with Erie Otters center Connor McDavid and Boston University center Jack Eichel.

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