Stefan Matteau - Image courtesy of USA Hockey
Position: Left Wing
Date of Birth: February 23rd, 1994
Place of Birth: Chicago, IL
Ht: 6'2" Wt: 210
2011-2012 Regular Season Stats:
If you're thinking to yourself, "I've heard that name before," you're right; Matteau is the son of Stephane Matteau, and carries some similar qualities. He finished the year as Central Scouting's 17th-ranked North American skater. He's a gritty player who wins puck battles and is disruptive when allowed to camp in front of the net. He has a strong shot from in close, but isn't known for his ability to set up teammates.
He's not without risk, however, as his discipline has been in question from time to time. He's been suspended multiple times for going over the edge, and he plays with that tenacity that can reward you just as well as it can punish you. In the right system, that "edge" can probably be molded into a leadership asset.
Matteau’s game translates well to the professional ranks which makes him valuable as a relatively safe bet in this range. He has pro size as well as an effective skill set that will suit the physical rigors of the NHL. Matteau shoots well, makes the simple play with the puck and brings a physical edge to his game. What Matteau lacks in pure foot speed, he makes up with an efficient skating stride that should allow him to gain quickness as he continues to get stronger. Matteau was originally slated to attend North Dakota but has since committed to play in the QMJHL next year with Blainville-Boisbriand.
Stefan brings much of his father’s grit to the ice. He’s been one of the top performers for the U.S. NTDP Under-18 squad with his outstanding grit and ‘immovable object’ act in front of opposing netminders. In much the same way as his elite net-front presence, he’s a very effective along the side- and end-boards: Matteau wins puck battles with regularity and protects possession zealously. He’s a real weapon on the forecheck. Matteau is an effective finisher from in-close and has a heavy shot. He’s taken steps to improve his distribution-game but is most effective as a bull at the top of the crease where he can screen the goalie, deflect point shots and bang home loose rebounds.
Why he'd be a good fit in Columbus:
Matteau is a big, strong guy who would bring another presence in front of the opposing net. He is known for going into the dirty areas, and makes a living using his size and strength to get in position to score from in close. In addition, he plays with an edge that many Blue Jackets' forwards have lacked over the years. Imagine Derek Dorsett with some size and some better ability to score goals, and that's the kind of player Matteau could be right away. Over the long haul, if he projects out like his dad did, he will be a quality player for years to come.
Matteau in His Own Words: