Team USA coach raves about Matthews


All eyes will be on Auston Matthews when the World Junior Championship kicks off Saturday in Finland.

Ron Wilson’s eyes have already seen Matthews in action, and Team USA’s coach could hardly be more impressed with the teenage forward.

“He just has a knack for going hard all the time,” Wilson told the Toronto Sun. “Matthews controls the puck, he sees the ice really well. And he can dish the puck and make passes like I’ve rarely seen as a coach.”

Barring the most unforeseen of circumstances, Matthews will be the first overall pick in the 2016 NHL draft. He’s been plying his trade in Switzerland this season as a professional. The 18-year-old who grew up in Arizona has 14 goals and 11 assists in 22 games for Zurich.

Team USA’s first game is Saturday against tournament favorite Canada.

Related: Marc Crawford says Auston Matthews has been ‘phenomenal’