NHL super agent discusses how Auston Matthews' Switzerland stint came to fruition

Florida Panthers v Toronto Maple Leafs
NHL super agent discusses how Auston Matthews' Switzerland stint came to fruition

In a recent episode of the Spittin Chiclets podcast, NHL super agent Judd Moldaver delved into the fascinating backstory of how Auston Matthews was drafted into the NHL. Currently a superstar for the Toronto Maple Leafs, Matthews took a unique route to the NHL by playing in Switzerland before being drafted.

Moldaver disclosed the circumstances that led Auston Matthews to play in Switzerland. He mentioned the lockout as a key factor that creates an opportunity for North American players.

Moldaver, who had prior experience with the Swiss league, saw potential in Matthews' situation, especially considering his late birthday, which afforded him an extra year of development.

"The rewind to that was the lockout. I'd done some deals, a lot of familiarity with the Swiss league," Moldaver said.
"You know, the late birthday players are always interesting, right? You get that free year. It was obviously for most North American players, it would have been college or the dub ever to drafted him."

According to Moldaver, Auston Matthews was already considering college options and potentially playing in the Western Hockey League (WHL) before the Switzerland opportunity arose.

"And he was probably narrowing down colleges to three or four places in reality," Moldaver said. "And it just felt like he might be too good in a sense, not that if he would have played in the dub or D one by any stretch of the imagination, that things wouldn't be how they are."

However, Matthews was ready for the pro game.

"But it seemed like he was ready for the pro game and for a different kind of challenge," Moldaver added.

Auston Matthews was picked first overall by the Toronto Maple Leafs in the 2016 NHL Draft.

"And so I've said many times over the years, it was never done to create an archetype for people to follow. It was just the right player, the right family. His mom went over there." Moldaver said

Auston Matthews received support from his family

Moldaver emphasized that the decision was not about creating a blueprint for others but rather about finding the right fit for Auston Matthews and his family.

"His dad was going over there," Moldaver said. "His sister, like there was a lot of particulars and details. It was credit to his family and into him to have the mental ability to handle it all. "

Matthews made history by scoring four goals in his NHL debut. He scored 40 goals and earned the Calder Memorial Trophy.

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Edited by Krutik Jain