With the 12th pick in the 2022 NHL Entry Draft, the Columbus Blue Jackets have selected Denton Mateychuk from the Moose Jaw Warriors of the Western Hockey League (WHL)
About Denton Mateychuk
The term “modern day defenseman” gets thrown around a lot nowadays. When people mention that term, they usually have players in mind that are cut from the same cloth as Denton Mateychuk. While he doesn’t have big-time size, he makes up for it by having big-time skill, and he has all the makings of the next great “modern day defenseman.”
Related: 2022 NHL Draft: Live Tracker
In 65 games with the Moose Jaw Warriors this season, he had 64 points. Mateychuk followed that up with 10 points in 10 playoff games, further cementing the fact that he can be a steady source of production from the blue line. While his defensive game leaves something to be desired, he has “future power-play quarterback” written all over him. His high-octane offensive game is sure to win fans over sooner rather than later.
THW Prospect Profile Excerpt
“The Western Hockey League’s (WHL) Moose Jaw Warriors saw it fit to draft Denton Mateychuk 11th overall in the 2019 Bantam Draft, and are getting a fantastic return on that investment. He may not be the flashiest player, but he is a two-way, solid puck mover who is set to captain Team White at the 2022 Kubota CHL / NHL Top Prospects Game.
Related: THW 2022 NHL Draft Guide
“It’s common to see Mateychuk logging a ton of ice for the Warriors, because he’s a workhorse — the fuel that powers the engine. He’s quick and eager to join the rush, and isn’t a stranger to carrying the puck over the blue line. He has the ability to carry the puck into the zone and establish control for his team. He doesn’t shy away from heading into dangerous areas, and has the vision and creativity to make a play and move the puck into those areas to open teammates, or get a shot on goal.
“He has the intelligence to know that not all shots have to be looking for the back of the net, and can send wrist shots on goal with the purpose of creating a rebound for his forward corps, or allow for a deflection. He knows to keep those long-distance shots low, and look to get it through the defenders and to the net. He won’t be firing Shea Weber-esque slap shots from up high, as he holds the awareness that that’s not his game. He can then use his skating and elusiveness to work into areas he has more success shooting.
“He doesn’t tend to play a passive role in defending the neutral zone. He takes an active role in breaking up passes to halt opposing rushes before they break into his zone. Then, while in his defensive zone, he has been able to obstruct passing lanes and deny with stick-on-stick plays, and also gets out there on the penalty kill.
“Despite his offensive ability, he can be a bit too risky at times; opting to make difficult breakout passes or zone entries rather than take the safe option. He struggles with unforced turnovers at times, and has had a tendency to look-off his defensive partner to try and make a play himself. His puck handling could see improvement as well, he can be seen at times putting a bad touch on a pass leading to one of those aforementioned unforced turnovers.”
How This Affects the Blue Jackets Plans
After already adding defenseman David Jiříček with the sixth pick in the draft, the Blue Jackets continue to fortify the future of their defense by adding Mateychuk. Heading into the future, Columbus will boast a defense that features Zack Werenski, Jiříček, and now Mateychuk. That has the makings to become one of the best blue lines in the NHL.
I am a Western Michigan University alum whose passion for hockey knows no limits. Dr. Pepper enthusiast. Catch me and my fellow Red Wings writers’ YouTube show “The Hockey Writers Grind Line” which drops every Saturday.