In a couple days we will be talking about a pretty dreamy 1st round target in Cole Sillinger. The USHL product has caught the eyes of many Flames fans but when looking at production in that league, Sillinger isn't #1. Instead its New York product Matthew Coronato.
Ranked as high as 11th by Craig Button, Coronato is an interesting prospect due to how some scouts think his game may fail to translate to the NHL level. His skating isn't elite, he doesn't have crazy vision or a wicked wrister, and on top of all that he's only 5 foot 10.
While this may not seem like im selling the player perhaps, what Coronato did in the USHL this season was absurd. Matt scored 48 goals and 85 points in only 51 games. To put this into perspective, here are just a few USHL products who Matt outpaced:
Cole Sillinger (46 points - 31 games)
Johnny Gaudreau (72 points - 60 games)
Jake Guentzel (73 points - 60 games)
Kyle Connor (80 points - 56 games)
Basically Coronato isn't in elite company. He is above elite company. What he did in the 2020-21 season was elite and for that reason he is being held as a 1st round talent in this years NHL entry draft.
While Coronato did have a great season there are some glaring issues as to why he might not be worth the 12th pick.
At only 5 foot 10 he doesn't have the speed or hands to be a Johnny hockey level talent. A lot of his goals were scored in tight or on an odd man rush. While he did create chances, there have been questions as to whether he can sustain that style of play with his limited foot speed at the next level.
He will surely have some room to grow, but with that being said he is going to Harvard next year, and as Flames fans I think we should be pretty wary of a guy going to Harvard *Cough Norris winner Adam Fox Cough*
Now as a comparable, Coronatos ceiling is probably similar to a guy like Kyle Palmieri or maybe Anthony Duclair. Both of these guys are solid NHL players who have made their mark on the league scoring goals, but in order for Coronato to get there he will need to work on his foot speed and strength, but there is a carved out place for that sort of role player on 30+ clubs in the NHL.
The jury is out on Coronato but scouting scaries aside, his production is not matched. There is a definite chance that he could come out as one of the most prolific players from this draft. Checkout some of his highlights below!
Stats Retrieved from Hockey DB. Chart from www.hockeyprospecting.com