Chicago Blackhawks Prospect Report: Goalie Prospect Mattson Rocked in Chicago

Jim WeihofenCorrespondent IOctober 2, 2012

LAKE PLACID, NY - AUGUST 08:  Johan Mattsson #1 of Team Sweden skates against Team USA at the Lake Placid Olympic Center on August 8, 2011 in Lake Placid, New York.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

On Saturday evening, the Tri-City Storm came to town to take on the Chicago Steel. Both teams were playing the second game of their 64-game USHL schedule.

In goal for Tri-City was Johan Mattsson, the Chicago Blackhawks' seventh-round draft pick in 2011. Hailing from Sweden, Mattson played last season with the OHL's Sudbury Wolves, and had recently been promoted by the Blackhawks to play in the USHL for Tri-City, per Andrew Weiss of Future Considerations.

Saturday marked the lone matchup of the season for the Storm and Steel, with three NHL draft picks playing in the game: Mattsson, defenseman Jaccob Slavin (Carolina, fourth round, 2012 draft) and left wing Mackenzie MacEachern (St. Louis, third round, 2012 draft) of Chicago. Coming into the game, the Steel are 1-0 and Tri-City is 0-1.

In the first period, the Storm came out of the gates flying and took an early 1-0 lead. Later in the period, however, MacEachern got a shot off that ricocheted off Mattsson's pad and fell directly in front of center Thomas Ebbing for a juicy rebound. One easy shot later and the game was tied. Mattsson still looked solid, stopping 14-of-15 shots in the opening frame. 

The second period didn't go as well for Mattsson. While he stopped another 14 shots, he also gave up two goals in the span of 53 seconds, the first of which was on the power play.

The third period saw Mattsson get flat-out beat by the Steel's Alex Roos, who got off a shot that Mattsson got a piece of, but still found the back of the net.

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In all, Mattsson stopped 38/42 shots. However, he was bested by Tinley Park native Alex Sakellaropolous, who blocked 44/46 shots to secure the win for the Steel.

In net, Mattsson looks to be an incredibly conservative goaltender. While he has good instincts and doesn't drop down into the butterfly when he doesn't have to, he's extremely reluctant to leave his crease.

Although it was just one game, Mattsson doesn't appear to have the upside of anything beyond an NHL backup. Though that's not terrible for a seventh-round pick, with the mediocre-at-best situation of the Blackhawks' goaltending depth, one is simply left hoping for more.