The big winner of the Auston Matthews sweepstakes hasn't been decided yet, but we now know the door has been closed on Matthews playing in the NCAA next season. Matthews' agent Pat Brisson told Mike Morreale of NHL.com that Matthews is definitely no longer considering the NCAA route.
That news comes as no big surprise. Most had long given up hope of Matthews playing in the NCAA next year, but for the people still holding out hope, that slim chance has now been eliminated.
Matthews had listed North Dakota, Denver, Michigan, Boston College, and Boston University as schools he was interested in all year and added Wisconsin to the list later in the year.
Matthews is projected as the top player overall for the 2016 NHL Draft. He will either play in the WHL for the Everett Silvertips, or take the near-unprecedented step of playing in a pro league in Switzerland next year rather than staying in North America next season while waiting to become eligible to play in the NHL.
Some have speculated that Matthews public interest in going to Switzerland has been a negotiating tactic to try to force a trade away from Everett, especially in light of the threat of Matthews playing in the NCAA next year carrying so little weight. But with Everett holding onto Matthews' rights, Brisson said Matthews is now leaning towards playing in Switzerland next season.