MONTREAL - Mike Matheson is one Montreal hockey star that you might not have heard of, but that could change after the upcoming NHL entry draft, as the Pointe Claire defenceman could be plucked as early as the first round.

Matheson has kept a low profile thus far, spurning invitations to the Quebec Junior League, opting instead to suit up in relative obscurity for the Dubuque Fighting Saints in the U.S. College hockey circuit.

Matheson, who sports a flaming mop of Larry Robinson-esque red hair under his helmet, figures that an education is never a bad thing.

"It's really tough to actually to make it to the NHL and go on to make a career and a living out of it, so you have to have a back up plan, so you see the players out of college route have a degree and that's a very nice back up plan," he said.

The sleek-skating six-foot, 170 pound rearguard is once again moving on after one year in Iowa to play with Boston College on a full scholarship.

Boston College has a proven track record at grooming players for the NHL, including Montreal Captain Brian Gionta.

When Matheson visited Boston College, he felt Cupid's arrow hit him like a bone crushing bodycheck.

"While I was on campus I really fell in love with it," said Matheson. "The guys in the dressing room made me feel great even though I was there only two days. You can see how great they are by winning the national championship this year."

Some would love to see Matheson sporting the Canadiens jersey, which would give the team a chance to showcase some West Island homegrown NHL talent, as they lost out on other such stars as Alexandre Burrows, Vincent Lecavalier, Ian Turnbull and many others over the years.

The Canadiens draft third overall and then again third in the second round. So there is a chance Matheson might still be available then.

Matheson would welcome a chance to play for the Habs.

"It'd be incredible to be drafted by Montreal because I grew up here, but honestly, any team works," he said.