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Thread: Auston Matthews to NLA?

  1. #1
    IHF Staff Steigs's Avatar
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    Auston Matthews to NLA?

    According to this very interesting article on NHL.com Auston Matthews (the currently-expected #1 pick in the 2016 NHL draft) is considering the Swiss NLA as a realistic option for the 2015-16 season (along with the CHL and NCAA).
    The young American player is 2 days too young to qualify for the 2015 draft, and I guess is looking for the highest caliber of hockey he can play in the runup to his draft year next spring. If he does choose pro hockey in Europe over junior/college in North America, this would definitely be a first for a North American player. Could be precedent-setting if he makes the jump, especially if he plays well and produces in a European elite league.

  2. #2
    If he's looking for the highest caliber after NHL, why whould he choose NLA ?
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    IHF Member Ibizajp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Petrochemist View Post
    If he's looking for the highest caliber after NHL, why whould he choose NLA ?
    Because KHL and RUSSIA is certainly no option for his parents, who might have their say I guess. NLA is after SHL and LIIGA the best league in EUROPE. His advisors/counsellors think that CHL or UNIVERSITY HOCKEY is no more a challenge for him. So one more year there is like a lost season. His 88kg/188cm certainly helps making the jump to men hockey. smaller guys same age did it (FIALA in SHL)

    Why NLA:
    - Highest salary, short trips, highly professional surroundings, full arenas, 50 games. I can imagine his closer options would be ZSC or SCB, with NHL coaches. even GS with MCSORLEY and all his oversea contacts. The guy knows a bit of Switzerland as he was there during the last U18 maybe he liked what he saw.

    If the ZSC option is true:
    MARC CRAWFORD had a good reputation in NA and he already introduced two young players like MALGIN and SIEGENTHALER with the same age as him during last season. SIEGENTHALER played all season and MALGIN half.
    I imagine that money is also important factors as a young fourth foreigner in Zürich he could earn around 200K netto which is lots of money for a junior player if you think that he would earn around 900K( more or less half after taxes) in his three first years as an NHLer with an entry level contract the Swiss option is interesting.

    Interesting an innovative option imo.

    http://www.swisshockeynews.ch/index....nd-next-season

    http://www.swisshockeynews.ch/index....-the-zsc-lions

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    IHF Staff Marc Brunengraber's Avatar
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    Under the NHL collective bargaining agreement, he can't play in the AHL as he is too young.

    The NLA, SHL and Liiga are all roughly equal depending upon the individual season in question, and are all roughly equal to the AHL for that matter.

    Aside from the NHL and the KHL, these three leagues are the world's highest level hockey leagues along with the AHL.

  5. #5
    IHF Staff Steigs's Avatar
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    Also, playing next year in Europe means that even if he doesn't crack an NHL roster right away in his draft year, he could play AHL, or continue playing pro in Europe instead of being sent back to junior.

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    IHF Staff Trim's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steigs View Post
    Also, playing next year in Europe means that even if he doesn't crack an NHL roster right away in his draft year, he could play AHL, or continue playing pro in Europe instead of being sent back to junior.
    That also comes with the added benefit, should he be chosen and wishes to exercise it, availability for the national team.

    Plus, there's the Champions Hockey League to give a handful of extra games against top notch opposition.
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    I'm really not a fan of this possibility. The NLA is a strong league but it's not a development league. For years NHL scouts have pretty much ignored the league and now Matthews feels it's to his benefit to head over there as a potential first overall pick? I never normally say this but he'd be better off going to the CHL if he doesn't want to accelerate his studies to head to the NCAA next fall. Just press for a trade from Everett as they're a pretty mediocre franchise.

    Orrrr... the NHL could just bend the rules and let him enter this year's draft so he could end up with his hometown Coyotes. I'd love it but it probably won't happen.

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    IHF Staff Steigs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cagney View Post
    I'm really not a fan of this possibility. The NLA is a strong league but it's not a development league.
    In fact, it's better than the development leagues available to him. So if he feels that he's already surpassed those, then why not look for the next step up?
    If he believes he's ready for pro hockey right now, the NLA becomes an interesting possibility.
    After all, if European kids can play top-level pro at age 17-18, why not a top American? Especially one who everyone is saying would be a cinch top-3 pick in the draft if he were eligible?

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    IHF Member Ibizajp's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cagney View Post
    I'm really not a fan of this possibility. The NLA is a strong league but it's not a development league. For years NHL scouts have pretty much ignored the league and now Matthews feels it's to his benefit to head over there as a potential first overall pick? .
    In facts there has never been more scouts in NLA than this last season. NLA is not a development league of course but top junior are introduced regularly in all teams and draft prospect watched.

    MATTHEWS will feel the pressure even if he is a top exception. His competition will be other foreigners and if the fans feel that he is not delivering what a foreigners should in a top club like LIONS they will have patience to a certain limit then he still could play for the farm team GCK LIONS or alternate. I am sure CRAWFORD will find the right way.

  10. #10
    IHF Member Ibizajp's Avatar
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    CRAWFORD on AUSTON MATTHEW:

    copied from SWISSHOCKEYNEWS:


    While AUSTON MATTHEWS's decision about his future is still pending, ZSC LIONS head coach Marc Crawford talks about him in an interview with Sean Tierney of Today's Slapshot: "There is no doubt that he can play and excel [sic] in the NLA."

    "Auston Matthews is an outstanding young Hockey player and everyone involved with the ZSC Lions is so excited about seeing him play in Zurich," Crawford writes in an e-mail to Tierney, sounding as if he counts on Matthews deciding to sign with the Lions for the upcoming season.

    For Crawford, the NLA has only upsides for Matthews: "I believe it is the perfect training ground for young athletes," he says. "He will be coached by an NHL coach he will be challenged by playing against men in a fast skating, highly skilled league."

    Hinting at Zurich-grown talents such as Ronalds Kenins, Jonas Siegenthaler, and Denis Malgin, Crawford sees Zurich as the perfect solution for players like Matthews: "He is a wonderful young man who wants to improve and we have an excellent record of development."


    http://www.swisshockeynews.ch/index....of-development

  11. #11
    IHF Member Ibizajp's Avatar
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    AUSTON MATTHEWS'S decision seems to take longer than expected. In a twitt on the 28th of May some teams of Sweden and Finland had joined ZSC in their bid.
    http://www.swisshockeynews.ch/index....ay-or-tomorrow

    The latest development as per today his agent says that they have narrowed it dowm to ZSC and WHL.

    First and foremost, the priority is his development," Brisson adds. "As it stands we were hoping to have a decision two weeks ago, but we are still not there 100 percent. And until we are at 100 percent we are not going to finalize it."

    http://www.swisshockeynews.ch/index....nd-and-the-whl

  12. #12
    IHF Member Ibizajp's Avatar
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    What is the situation with AUSTON MATTHEWS. Are administrative hurdles impeding the definitive signing? It looks like it.
    There is a legal dispute. More precisely to the implementing provisions of the Federal Office for Migration. Work permit to third
    country nationals(non EU countries) These provisions make it clear that only qualified workers can be employed.

    For football and hockey its pretty clear. A player from a non EU country can only receive a work permit if he previously played
    one year as a professional.

    Although the qualification of Auston Matthews is undisputed and he, in his age group, is one of the best players, he does not
    meet these conditions.

    The ZSC Lions can, in court, force the work permit with a super provisional clause - but only for the duration of the
    authorization process. If the application is rejected by the Federal Office for Migration, Auston Matthews must leave Switzerland
    immediately.

    What is this? did the ZSC lawyers not know about this basic rule? Why entering in the bid at all knowing the rules?

    There was an almost similar case with DAVOS and RYAN O'CONNOR in 2013/14 season, a player who was only junior in North America.
    The big difference was that Switzerland and Canada have an agreement on facilitating exchange with qualified workers. This
    agreement does not exist with the USA.

    Now ZSC's lawyers are busy working out a solution.

    http://www.swisshockeynews.ch/index....ions-in-danger

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    what a season

  14. #14
    IHF Prospect brhlcommish's Avatar
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    I think you're going to see a lot more young players taking this route. It was a great developmental season for Matthews, far better than staying in NA would have been. Even guys who are too good for junior in NA may look to overseas (and typically to a team with an old NHL coach who they can trust for development).

    I think it's great for the development of the young guys, will be interesting to see how much of a trend this becomes.
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