After another dip into the defensive pool we’ve got a stone cold sniper on our hands in record-setting Matthew Coronato out of the USHL and the Chicago Steel. The Harvard commit set Steel team records for scoring at a blazing pace last year and earned the nickname “the Bison” for crashing the net and showing no fear going into the high-danger areas to score.
BSH 2021 Community Draft Board, No. 16: Matthew Coronato
Team: Chicago Steel (USHL)
Stats: 48 G, 37 A, 85 P in 51 GP
No. 9 by NHL Central Scouting (NA Skaters)
No. 28 by Consolidated Ranking
No. 32 by Elite Prospects
No. 32 by Eric D (On The Forecheck)
What’s there to like?
Scoring goals, it’s pretty important — and Coronato wears out the back of the net.
He lit up the USHL to the tune of nearly a goal per game in 2020-21 and was nearly a point per-game player in 2019-20, so it’s not as though he was a one-year wonder.
But not only is he filling up the net, he’s doing it with a real nasty bag of tricks when the puck is on his blade. Coronato shows a quick, lethal release on snapshots, plenty of life on his wrist shots, and can drop the knee and rip one-timers.
Good look at his offensive acumen there as both a finisher and a facilitator on the puck. There’s a ton to like about his game at that end, no doubt.
What needs work?
Coronato is far from a polished skater no matter who you slice it — and if that sounds at all like Matt Strome then it’s a problem when you’re talking about a potential first-round pick. The consensus among scouts is that if Coronato was a better skater/athlete then his scoring would push him well into the top-20 and beyond.
But the issue is that skating is a major issue for him ahead of his freshman season at Harvard, and generally it isn’t easy for a guy to make himself into a great skater — especially if the tools don’t see to be there. This already isn’t a prospect with a ton of size at 5-foot-10, 175 pounds, so it’s not as though he can adjust his stride to take advantage of a big frame with better coaching.
He’s got NHL upside offensively, but needs to add more speed, acceleration, and explosiveness to his game in order to push the needle towards impact player at the next levels of competition.
A big key to his development will be how Coronato fares against college competition next year. Prospects with October and November birthday were already going toe-to-toe in college and it’ll be interesting to see how Coronato’s game translates to the NCAA.
How would he fit in the Flyers’ system?
The Flyers have a system stock full of guys who have offensive upsides that aren’t 75% of Coronato’s. There’s a plethora of possible NHL talent, but nobody outside of Bobby Brink that has the offensive potential of Coronato. He’s more of a lottery ticket that a sure fire top nine forward down the road — but you can’t hit the lottery if you never play.
Could the Flyers actually get him?
Coronato could very well be in the neighborhood when the Flyers head to make their selection, but he also makes a lot of sense in that range for a team the Orange and Black made a track with for the pick. If it’s say a team like the Blue Jackets — this would be their second first round pick and be a spot where they could take a swing for the fences.
As the Flyers continue to watch Cole Caufield energize the Canadiens’ lineup, perhaps this’ll be the time that GM Chuck Fletcher decides to go all-in on a smaller, but talented potential offensive dynamo.
We’ll also make one addition to the poll:
Brennan Othmann, LW, Flint (OHL)
Othmann’s stock rose after the U18 worlds, and some scouts think he could go much higher than this slot but others expect right around 20 is where he will land due to a lack of speed. Othmann would bring a high level of skill, goal-scoring ability and physicality to the Oilers and someone to finish plays set up by their star centers. — Corey Pronman, The Athletic
Who should be 17th on the draft board?
This poll is closed
2021 BSH Community Draft Board
- Owen Power — D, University of Michigan (NCAA)
- Matthew Beniers — C, University of Michigan (NCAA)
- Brandt Clarke — D, Nove Zamky (Slovakia)
- Dylan Guenther — LW/RW, Edmonton (WHL)
- William Eklund — C/LW, Djurgårdens IF (SHL)
- Luke Hughes — D, US NTDP (USHL) and US National U18 (USDP)
- Simon Edvinsson — D, Frölunda HC J20 / J20 Nationell - 21/22
- Kent Johnson — D, University of Michigan (NCAA)
- Aatu Räty — C, Kärpät U20 and Kärpät (Liiga)
- Jesper Wallstedt — G, Luleå (SHL)
- Mason McTavish — C, EHC Olten (SL)
- Cole Sillinger — C/LW, Sioux (USHL)
- Chaz Lucius — C, US NTDP (USHL) and US National U18 (USDP)
- Fabian Lysell — LW/RW, Luleå HF (SHL)
- Carson Lambos — D, JYP U20 (U20 SM-sarja)
- Matthew Coronato — F, Chicago Steel (USHL)