Prospect Profile: Stefan Matteau- Forward
How do you make your name more famous when it’s already associated with something unfavorable in Devils history? Well, it’s not easy, but that’s what 19-year-old Stefan Matteau is set to do.
His father, spelled Stephane, is famous for scoring the goal that pushed the Rangers over the Devils in the 1994 Eastern Conference Finals. It must have made for an awkward first few minutes when the Devils drafted Matteau 29th overall in 2012.
Stefan played 17 games for New Jersey last season before being sent down to his junior team. He scored a goal and added two assists in that timeframe, for a minus-one rating.
If you’re interested in seeing Matteau’s first goal, you can catch the game from February 9th that airs Thursday, July 18th on MSG-plus, at 8 p.m. as part of their Summer Ice program.
Can we expect more goals from Matteau in the near future? With plenty of time to develop, the Devils aren’t going to rush him into service. He’s a candidate to possibly make the team out of training camp if he can really turn up his play. If not, he’ll be in Albany, at least to start the season.
The former QMJHL’er has the skill to be a solid second or third line player in the NHL. He has a physical edge to his game and is very good at both ends of the ice. He could easily project as a penalty killing third liner player who can chip in some offense.
You can’t go wrong with a player who is responsible in his own end. Something that you always look for in a player is the kind of intangibles they possess; little things that don’t necessarily show up on a stat sheet, but rather tendencies that help strengthen their game.
The fact that he isn’t one to shy away from contact, he would benefit from the foreheck-heavy system of the Devils. He’ll have to play his way onto the team in camp, and competition will be fierce.
Regardless of where Matteau starts the 2013-2014 season, the future is still bright. At 19, and with some NHL experience under his belt, it’s all about letting him mature and adjust to the pro-style game.