With the 13th pick in the 2021 NHL Entry Draft, the Calgary Flames have selected Matthew Coronato from the Chicago Steel of the United States Hockey League (USHL)
About Matthew Coronato
Simply put, Coronato was on fire this season. From the beginning of the 2020-21 campaign right to the end of the Clark Cup Playoffs, he was a force to be reckoned with. Posting a career-high 48 goals and 85 points in 51 games and nine goals and 13 points in the playoffs, the New York product showed off all of his elite skills en route to a top-20 pick in the 2021 Draft. Rising to as high as 11th overall in both Craig Button’s and Sportsnet’s final rankings, he should become a consistent 20-goal scorer when he hits his prime in the NHL.
THW Prospect Profile Excerpt
“Matthew Coronato has been on fire since the 2020-21 USHL season began. In fact, he’s only been held pointless in seven of his 49 games so far this season. In total, he’s had 26 multi-point games, two hat tricks and his longest stretch without a goal was four games (as of this writing). Long story short, he’s been nearly unstoppable.
Related: THW 2021 NHL Draft Guide
“To put Coronato’s breakout campaign in perspective, he only had 18 goals and 40 points in 45 games last season. This season he hit that mark in his 17th game. That’s how consistent his production has been throughout the year.
“So, how did he transform from an average point producer to a superstar? For him, it was two things, more attention to detail and better defensive zone awareness.
For me, my speed and my shot have improved a lot from last year. But I think one of the biggest things for me has been my attention to detail and progression in the defensive zone…it’s an important part of the game, it helps your team win, so I’m proud of my improvement there.Matthew Coronato in a post-practice media scrum at the 2021 BioSteel All-American Game
“Coronato is a multi-faceted offensive threat that can play every forward position and any style you ask of him. He can run a power play, kill penalties and of course, put up points at an alarming rate. His work ethic is unmatched on the forecheck and he never gives up on a puck, which will make him a very valuable asset for an NHL coach someday.
“For a player that is ranked in the 30s and 40s by most outlets, Coronato is doing everything he can to prove those pundits wrong. From his overall offensive abilities and hockey IQ to his speed and impressive motor, he has everything you want in a top-line forward. If he can continue to improve upon his defensive game and overall mobility, I really believe the sky’s the limit for him.
“Coronato is a special player with many different attributes that will eventually make him a prominent NHLer. He even has leadership qualities and a dynamic personality in the dressing room. I anticipate we will be hearing his name a lot in the coming years.”
How This Affects the Flames’ Plans
Coronato brings a lot of scoring to a team that needs more of it. Yes, they have Johnny Gaudreau and Sean Monahan, but when you can get a pure goal scorer like Coronato, you jump on it. He may need a few more years of conditioning, but when he gets to the NHL, he will be a 20-30 goal scorer. That’s how good he is.
Matthew Zator is a THW freelance writer, media editor, and scout who lives and breathes Vancouver Canucks hockey, the NHL Draft, and prospects in general. He loves talking about young players and their potential. Matthew is a must-read for Canucks fans and fans of the NHL Draft and its prospects. For interview requests or content information, you can follow Matthew through his social media accounts which are listed under his photo at the conclusion of articles like this one about Tyler Motte.