Auston Matthews, who is the leading candidate to be taken with the top pick in the 2016 NHL Entry Draft, will not be able to represent the United States in the upcoming Deutschland Cup.
Matthews has been playing for Zurich of Switzerland’s National League A, which has allowed him to work under former NHL coach Marc Crawford. He has 10 goals and 17 points in 14 Swiss games.
The 18-year-old isn’t the first top prospect to get hurt so close to his draft year. Connor McDavid suffered a fractured bone in his hand during an OHL game in Nov. 2014, but that didn’t end up changing his status as the most desirable prospect of the 2015 draft.
Of course, McDavid was dominant after returning. We’ll see if Matthews follows a similar path.