Marc Crawford says Auston Matthews has been ‘phenomenal’

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Auston Matthews has taken the Swiss League by storm. The 18-year-old American phenom has impressed many in the hockey world so early in his professional career, including his head coach, Marc Crawford.

“He’s been phenomenal,” said Crawford, who’s been coaching in Switzerland since 2012. “You would be hard-pressed to come to our game and not notice him.”

Matthews decided to buck the trend this summer by signing with the Zurich Lions instead of playing in the Western Hockey League.

By joining the pro ranks, Matthews will face stiffer competition than he would have in junior, and the bigger pay day certainly doesn’t hurt.

Through four games, the projected No. 1 draft pick has scored three goals (tied for the team lead) and four assists.

North American hockey fans will get their next extended look at Matthews when he suits up for the Americans at the World Junior Hockey Championship in late December.