We are less than a month away from the 2021 NHL Entry Draft (July 23-24), so it’s time to start researching the prospects likely to be selected in the first round. The Columbus Blue Jackets currently hold three picks in that round: #5, #24, and #30 or #31.
Position: Left Wing
Team: Chicago Steel / USHL
Date of Birth: November 14, 2002
Birthplace: New York, New York
Ranked #27 by CONSOLIDATED RANKING
Ranked #32 by ELITEPROSPECTS.COM
Ranked #24 by FCHOCKEY
Ranked #21 by TSN/BOB McKENZIE
Ranked #16 by MCKEEN’S HOCKEY
Ranked #11 by TSN/CRAIG BUTTON
Ranked #9 by NHL CENTRAL SCOUTING (NA Skaters)
Ranked #21 by SPORTSNET’S
Ranked #33 by RECRUIT SCOUTING
Ranked #33 by DOBBERPROSPECTS
Ranked #17 by DRAFT PROSPECTS HOCKEY
Ranked #29 by SMAHT SCOUTING
Ranked #27 by THE PUCK AUTHORITY
Games Played: 51
Matthew Coronato put up huge scoring numbers for the Chicago Steel of the USHL last season, and put up another 13 points (nine goals, four assists). Coronato is slated to play for Harvard University this upcoming hockey season. Here’s a great piece on Coronato by Scott Peters at The Athletic.
Coronato was the top forward in the USHL, putting up huge goal totals on the way to a USHL title.
“He’s a competitor, he has skill, he plays fast, he can score. I think you can be reasonably concerned if he’s truly dynamic enough at that size for where he’s projected, but it’s hard to deny how good a season he had.”
“He’s a rather complete hockey player except for his height. He did everything he could this season to justify he was a top-20 pick.” - Corey Pronman, The Athletic
Coronato has been moving up The Athletic draft analyst Scott Wheeler’s board, too. Coronato was ranked 45th in Wheeler’s most recent rankings, but Wheeler admitted he’d be closer to a first-round pick as of now.
“He has been a lot of fun to watch and fits in really well with the possession style the Steel play,” Wheeler said. “I’d say he’s equal parts finisher and playmaker, too, which gives him some versatility and should help him establish himself as an impact player right away at Harvard next year. I think people sleep on how strong he is at times as well. He’s not tall, but he’s physically mature on the puck. I’m a big fan. Some of his production is skewed because of his team and the way the COVID has touched many USHL programs, often watering down the talent level, but he’s legit as a second-line projection at the NHL level, I think.” - Scott Powers, The Athletic
As good of a natural scorer Coronato is, he’s equally as good of a set-up man. He is a talented passer of the puck, and can seek out a teammate rushing into the offensive zone with a beautiful pass. Coronato is also an above average powerplay weapon, as he can usually be found patrolling both sections of the slot. He’s scored eight of his ten powerplay goals from this area, which goes to show how effective he is with the man advantage. - Josh Tessler, Smaht Scouting