The LA Kings have loaded up the right side of their defense, including the selection of Brandt Clarke with the eighth overall pick of the 2021 NHL draft. Denton Mateychuk would give Los Angeles a Clarke-like player on the left side.
Selected with the 11th overall pick in the 2019 WHL Bantam Draft, Mateychuk is one of the best puck-moving defensemen in this draft class. With the WHL season on hold last year, the Winnipeg, MB native began the year in the Manitoba Junior Hockey League.
There, he tallied one goal and two assists in an eight-game sample size with the Steinbach Pistons.
In WHL play, Mateychuk finished with the third-most points (9) among Moose Jaw defensemen.
He saw his numbers explode this past season.
His 64 points (13 G, 51 A) led all defenders on the team and were fifth-most in the WHL among defensemen. In ten playoff games, he had a goal and nine assists, picking up his first and second point in Moose Jaw’s season-ending loss on Friday, including this beautiful assist.
— x – Moose Jaw Warriors (@MJWARRIORS) May 14, 2022
Mateychuk is a solid two-way defender. He’s slightly undersized at 5-foot-11 and 187 pounds, but he’ll drop the gloves when he needs to.
He’s a highly-skilled defenseman who can jump into the rush, lead the puck into the attacking zone, and has a bomb of a shot from the blue line.
Mateychuk’s passing is one of his more underrated attributes. He attracts a lot of attention with his ability to shoot the puck and uses his excellent vision to find teammates for good scoring chances.
- D.O.B – July 12, 2004
- Age – 17
- Place of Birth – Winnipeg, MB, CAN
- Draft Eligibility – 2022
- Height – 5-foot-11
- Weight – 187 lbs
- Position – Defenseman
- Shoots – Left
Ranked #17 by CONSOLIDATED RANKING
Ranked #8 by ELITEPROSPECTS.COM
Ranked #17 by FCHOCKEY
Ranked #29 by TSN/BOB McKENZIE
Ranked #14 by MCKEEN’S HOCKEY
Ranked #22 by TSN/CRAIG BUTTON
Ranked #14 by NHL CENTRAL SCOUTING (NA Skaters)
Ranked #19 by SPORTSNET
Ranked #20 by RECRUIT SCOUTING
Ranked #16 by DOBBERPROSPECTS
Ranked #18 by DRAFT PROSPECTS HOCKEY
Ranked #22 by SMAHT SCOUTING
Ranked #17 by THE PUCK AUTHORITY
“In the 2022 NHL draft class there isn’t a player I enjoy watching more on a nightly basis than Denton Mateychuk. He is a unicorn as a defender. There isn’t an archetype that he really fits into, which makes him a polarizing player to categorize and rank. … He is at his best when the puck is on his stick, driving transitional play, and having the offense flow through him. Even if his puck handling skill drives down the effectiveness of his rush offense; his intelligence, passing ability, off-puck awareness and aggressiveness will still make him an effective offensive defensemen.” – Austin Garrett, Smaht Scouting
Mateychuk played well in an abbreviated WHL season in 2020-21, but he has taken his game to another level for Moose Jaw this year. There is a significant gap between him and the next highest scoring draft-eligible defenceman in the WHL, but it is the way that he has balanced an attacking mindset with responsible defensive play that has drawn the most praise. Mateychuk has been a steady climber in scouting circles all season long, and there is a chance he could hear his name called within the first ten picks of the 2022 draft if he maintains his strong play in the second half. Nick Richard, Dobber Prospects
“Mateychuk is an undersized but dynamic defenseman. His skating pops, showing very quick feet that can easily transition pucks up ice with speed or evade pressure easily. Mateychuk attacks with the puck using his skill, skating, and vision, making him a threat off the rush and blue line to create chances. He defends well in the WHL due to his feet, but at 5-foot-11, the concern for scouts is how well he’ll be able to check in the NHL. I see a projected 2nd/3rd pair tweener type for that reason.” -Corey Pronman, The Athletic
He’s always up in the play, and when he gets the puck, few defensemen create more opportunities. He’s a confident, aggressive defender, too, EPRinkside.com 2021