41. Stefan Matteau, Left Wing, USA Under-18 National Team-USHL
Matteau was one of the hardest players for me to rank. Between my own viewings and talking to many scouts, he was very polarizing in regards to his pure upside and what to degree each of his main tools were. He's an above-average skater who gets a lot of power generated from each stride. He's improved his acceleration and he's surprisingly quick now I would say for a power forward. I personally have been 50/50 on his skating when I've watched him, but just about every scout I've talked to has praised it. Matteau also has pretty good hands, showing the ability to make plays in tight spaces with the puck and create some offense at even strength. I don't see him as a particularly instinctive and awe-inspiring offensive player, but he has enough to his tool kit to make some things happen. Matteau is a pretty physical player, who despite average size, looks to be able to win battles against 6'3" or 6'4" opponents as he shows good physical effort, is very strong, and loves to throw his weight around. He has racked up a lot of penalty minutes this year due to his physical style and a few incidents where his emotions got the best of him. He has defensive value as well and can project to bring notable effectiveness on the penalty kill.
Hockey Prospect Black Book:
Stefan Matteau - LW - USNTDP, 6’1” 209
Matteau is our favorite forward on the USNTDP. He is very aware on the defensive side of the puck and he plays a high tempo game. We love the work ethic in his game, especially his commitment to defense. Stefan sees the ice well and creates time for himself by being such a good puck protector. He is strong and uses good footwork and body position to control the puck. He is probably not what you would call an elite offensive player but he has talent in the offensive zone. He has great instincts and uses his size to create space.
When it comes to his skating you take the good with the bad. He is very good in a straight line but needs to work on his lateral agility. His first few steps are not awful but it’s an area for him to keep working on.
His NHL bloodlines won’t hurt him any in June. We had him as high as a late first rounder this season.
Quotable: “Right from the first game I saw him in the Fall Classic he was the forward that jumped out at me off that team. I loved his energy and his smart brand of hockey. I like him heading to the QMJHL next season. The Armada staff did a great job coaching up that team this past season. That probably bodes well for whoever pulls the trigger on Stefan in June. Will he still be on the board for Montreal in the early 2nd round?” - Mark Edwards
Future Considerations Draft Guide:
POSITION: Left Wing
TEAM: NTDP U18 (USHL)
BORN: February 23, 1994
VITALS: 6’-1.5” / 210 Lbs
STATS: 46 GP 15 G 17 A 32 PTS 166 PIM
SCOUTING REPORT: A big, strong power forward who plays with an ornery temperament. He has good skating ability for a bigger player and nice speed, but his first couple steps are not the fastest. He’s a wrecking ball with good size, plays with constant energy and has very strong aggressiveness. He hits everyone hard and always makes his presence known on the forecheck. He compliments his physical game with solid offensive skills including a hard wrist shot and some underrated playmaking abilities. He loves to take the puck to the net hard and fight for those second and third chances. He can carry the puck up ice and into the offensive zone but does not have much flash or the ability to dangle. He’s smart and understands how to play the game in a straight forward way. Discipline concerns crept into his game this year as he made a few bad on-ice decisions that left him watching games while serving suspensions for his infractions. The son of former NHLer Stephane Matteau plays with more grit and skill than his father, who he will join next year when he moves to Blainville-Boisbriand of the Quebec league where his father is an assistant coach.
NHL POTENTIAL: Top six power forward.
Kirk Luedeke (NE Hockey Journal):
Matteau, also 18, is listed at about 6-foot-1 and 210 pounds, and is coming off a season in the USHL with the U.S. National Team Development Program. Although originally committed to the NCAA route with the University of North Dakota, Matteau switched gears and declared for the Blainville-Broisbriand Armada of the QMJHL for the 2012-13 season.
A rugged power forward who has a big shot and plays a hard-nosed style, his skating needs work and he racked up a lot of penalty minutes over the course of the last couple of seasons (140 in just 46 USHL contests).
“Stef is a great kid and fierce competitor,” said U.S. NTDP teammate Matt Grzelcyk (Charlestown, Mass.) “He’s a great teammate; someone who you’d love to have on your team.”
Like his father, Matteau doesn’t possess a lot of flash, but he plays a gritty north-south game and can crash the net effectively. In 18 USHL games, he tallied six goals and 10 points. He protects the puck well and isn’t afraid to get his nose dirty.
Matteau’s penchant for taking bad penalties is sure to come into question when final decisions are being made, but Grzelcyk noted that while at times he got a little out of control, he feels Matteau is more disciplined now. Scouts were robbed of a major showcase opportunity for him when he was ruled ineligible for the World Under-18 Championship tourney in a questionable decision by the IIHF. Matteau is a dual-citizen of the USA and Canada and speaks French fluently.