Quebec native Michael Matheson was taken 23rd by the Florida Panthers in last week's NHL entry draft, and the defenseman is headed to defending NCAA champion Boston College in the fall.
The 6'1", 178 lb blueliner had a scoring line of 11 goals and 16 assists for 27 points in 53 outings with Dubuque (USHL) last year, along with 84 penalty minutes. Prior to skating for the Fighting Saints, he toiled for Lac St. Louis (QMAAA).
Matheson joins Brian Leetch (New York Rangers, 1986), Craig Janney (Boston Bruins, 1986), Bill Guerin (New Jersey Devils, 1990), Marty Reasoner (St. Louis Blues, 1996), Brooks Orpik (Pittsburgh Penguins, 2000) , Krys Kolanos (Phoenix Coyotes, 2000), Chuck Kobasew (Calgary Flames, 2001), Brian Boyle (Los Angeles Kings, 2003), Patrick Eaves (Ottawa Senators, 2003), Corey Schneider, (Vancouver Canucks, 2004) and Chris Kreider (New York Rangers, 2009) as first-round draft choices with BC ties. All of those players have gone on to skate in the NHL, with the latter seven still active in the professional ranks. (Source: 2011-12 BC Hockey Media Guide)
Leetch, Guerin and Orpik have also all played on Stanley Cup winners, while Kolanos and Kobasew were members of BC's 2011 NCAA title team and also teamed up on the game-winning goal in overtime in the championship game that spring against North Dakota in Albany, NY. It was BC's first national title in 52 years, followed by NCAA championship game victories in 2008, 2010 and 2012.
Former BC defenseman Nick Petrecki, who was drafted in the first round by the San Jose Sharks in 2007, has played the last three seasons with Worcester (AHL), while Kevin Hayes (first round, Chicago Blackhawks, 2010) is still enrolled at BC and will be a junior at the Heights this year.