Weight: 210 pounds
DOB: 23 February 1994
Team: USNTDP (USHL)
Any time a bright prospects has NHL bloodlines, he's a pretty good bet to make it to the big leagues. Stefan Matteau, son of Stephane Matteau, famed for his overtime series-winner in the New York Rangers' Eastern Conference finals in 1994, has them.
Matteau is a hard-nosed center who drives to the net to score goals. He is big and strong and, as a result, provides the ideal net-front presence for his team. A forecheck-demon, Matteau is effective along the boards and in the corners, and when he gets the puck in front of the net, he most often dispatches it. His skating needs to improve, but he makes up for it by being a nuisance to play against.
There have, however, been bad problems of discipline regarding Matteau. Having been suspended several times for both on-ice and off-ice infractions, Matteau has seen his draft stock tumble because of his inability to stay out of trouble.
Matteau, who, despite having a French-Canadian father, is an American, spent this season with the United States National Team Development Program of the United States Hockey League. He appeared in 18 games for the USNTDP (he was suspended for more than 15), scoring six goals and four assists for 10 points. In those 18 games, he racked up 93 penalty minutes, more than five per game.
Matteau is committed to play for the Blainville-Boisbriand Armada of the QMJHL next season.
Scouts love Matteau's style and dedication on the ice, but his off-ice antics are a problem. If he can overcome them, he'll be an effective NHLer, popular among fans for his drive and will to fight for his team; if he can't, he might never make it in the league.
Stefan Matteau was ranked as the 17th top North American skater by Central Scouting prior to the draft.
Analysis: Matteau has the size needed to be effective on both special teams. There are doubts over whether he has the skill needed to be a second-line center, and it seems more likely that he will blossom into an elite checking-line power forward.
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