Providence is hosting an exhibition game against the NTDP U18 team tonight--Jeff Cox is covering the game for us tonight, and will have more on it later--but in the meantime, Mark Divver, writer at the Providence Journal tweeted some interesting information on U18 super-recruit Auston Matthews.
'97 C Auston Matthews of NTDP tells me he's 50/50 on college vs. WHL. Says he's talking to BC, BU, Denver, Michigan.— Mark Divver (@MarkDivver) October 16, 2014
Don Granato on Auston Matthews: 'I think he’s leaning toward college. I think he’s seriously looking & has had his eyes opened to college.'— Mark Divver (@MarkDivver) October 16, 2014
Matthews is a late '97-birthdate, so only in the 11th grade, but there is the possibility for him to accelerate his studies and play in the NCAA next season.
It would be huge for any of those four programs to land Matthews, a Jack Eichel-like talent who, while it's still early, could be in the running for the first overall pick in the 2016 NHL Draft. If the comparisons to Eichel seem far-fetched, keep in mind that Matthews arguably out-performed Eichel at last year's World U18 Championships.