On January 9, 2015, he was acquired by the Oshawa Generals from the Plymouth Whalers of the Ontario Hockey League (OHL) and became their leading scorer for the 2014-15 playoffs.
A year later, he was traded to the Sarnia Sting, “it’s a trade we’re extremely happy to have made,” says Mark Glavin, Assistant General Manager of the Sarnia Sting. “We brought him in to score goals and that’s what he’s done. We’re thrilled with what he’s done.”
Matthew Mistele is a 6-foot-2, 190-pound winger drafted by the Los Angeles Kings at the 2014 NHL Entry Draft. Going in at No. 180 overall, he’s playing his major junior overage year with Sarnia.
What did the Sarnia Sting find so appealing about Mistele when they traded for him just over a year ago that? “Offense is certainly the number one reason,” Glavin tells The Hockey Writers. “Very close to that, he’s a Memorial Cup champion with Oshawa.”
According to Glavin, winning tournaments like the Memorial Cup make players more attractive to teams on the prowl for new talent. “To have an overage player with championship experience, there’s a lot to pass along to our younger players.”
Postgame Interview with Matt Mistele at the 2015 Mastered Memorial Cup
LA Kings’ Prospects of the Ontario Hockey League Host Goal-Scoring Frenzy
It’s mid-February and the 2016 Ontario Hockey League playoffs begin in March – that’s really soon. The pressure is on for every team in the league to get the puck to the net as much as possible. The Los Angeles Kings have a tendency to draft guys from Ontario and consequently, a lot of LA Kings picks are racking up the points these days. “The cool thing with what they’ve (the LA Kings) done is they have a lot of Ontario kids,” Glavin tells The Hockey Writers. “I really think you see Mike’s (Michael Futa, VP of Hockey Ops at the LA Kings) influence on the team”. Last night was a point-gathering frenzy for LA Kings’ prospects currently playing in the OHL. Take a look:
- The Stings played against the Saginaw Spirit and Mistele scored five goals for the team.
— Momentum Hockey (@Momentum_Hockey) February 15, 2016
2. The Erie Otters played against Guelph and Jake Marchment got three goals, while Erik Cernak got an assist.
3. The Kingston Frontenacs played against Barrie and Roland Mckeown got two assists and Spencer Watson got one.
4. The Owen Sound Attacked played against Oshawa and Damir Sharipzyanov also got two assists.
5. The North Bay Battalion played against the Ottawa 67s and although Michael Amadio only scored twice last night… but he also scored five goals two nights prior, when the Battalion faced-off against Kingston.
Me and my linemate @M18amadio combined for 5 goals tonight! He had 5 and I had 0…. #Congrats
— Mathew Santos (@MathewSantos26) February 14, 2016
6. The Sudbury Wolves played against the Mississauga Steelheads and Matt Schmalz got two assists.
Holy smokes! As crunch time to the playoffs approaches, it looks like the added pressure of scoring goals does nothing but good things for Ontario Kings’ prospects… especially if your name is Mistele or Amadio.
Prepping to Be a King in the Ontario Hockey League
Since Mistele wasn’t playing for Sarnia at the time he was drafted by the Kings, Glavin tells The Hockey Writers that they haven’t had a lot of contact with the Kings about Mistele and so it’s hard to know exactly what they want him to work on specifically. However, he still has a number of strengths that set him apart from other forwards in the OHL and these the same strengths that make him fit the mold of an LA Kings prospect so well:
Strength No. 1: “His skill set is that he’s an offensive player and he doesn’t shy away from physical play… he’s working on his defensive side. I’m guessing that’s why LA drafted him – because of his offensive potential,” says Glavin. “He has a very good shot and a nose for the net – he loves to shoot on the net. He has a shot that makes him dangerous. He’s very accurate. He’s on the first power play unit.”
Strength No. 2: “He can go deep in the playoffs. Last year, he won a Memorial Cup in Oshawa. With his experience, he brings a lot of intangibles. He knows what it takes to win.”
Strength No. 3: Character. “Myself personally, he’s very easy to talk to. He shows a maturity that comes through experience,” Glavin goes on. “He’s very personable. The guys love him. He’s got a fun, loving side to him. He enjoys playing hockey and that’s evident in the room and that type of attitude is contagious. It’s a long year and it’s important to have guys like Matt to lighten up the atmosphere… he’s certainly a competitor off the ice.”
What about Mistele’s weaknesses? “There’s certainly no glaring weaknesses,” Glavin tells The Hockey Writers. “With Matt, it’s just a matter of consistency… there’s a lot of ups and downs. He got off to a real fast start with us and has slowed down a bit. The main thing for so many players in our league is developing the 200-foot game … but also becoming more of a complete player… and being effective in our end.” His 200-foot game is coming along, but “it’s a working progress.”
Similarities Between Mistele & Amadio
Clearly there’s some similarities between Mistele and Amadio. They score goals. In a recent interview with Stan Butler, the Head Coach and General Manager of the North Bay Battalion about Amadio, he told The Hockey Writers that, “Everybody relies on the guy who scores the big goals and I think that’s an important thing.” This is one of the reasons why Amadio is the Battalion’s Captain. However, Mistele isn’t a Captian or an Alternate one either. So is the Captain material and could this ever be a possibility for him? “He doesn’t wear a letter… and he doesn’t need the letter to lead,” says Glavin. “He’s certainly someone to look towards because he’s a veteran leader. It has nothing to do with goals at all. There’re other guys that certainly fit the role. We don’t want to put added pressure on him.”
There’s a number of characteristics about Mistele that makes him look like a Futa pick. “Physically, he’s a good size,” says Glavin. He’s known for being a good guy and he has a proven track record of winning championships… the list goes on. Not all of the King’s prospects are exactly the same, though. The majority happen to be re-entry Draft picks because perseverance is a characteristic that Futa is looking for, but “he’s not a re-entry Draft pick,” says Glavin. “He has a late birthday. That’s why he was in the league three years before he was drafted.” Regardless of that, there’s way too many reasons to think that this young Kings’ prospect will indeed have a bright future playing professional hockey in the NHL.
I’m a Hockey Journalist based out of Barrie, Ontario, a Contributing Writer for The Hockey Writers covering OHL, and NHL prospects with an insatiable thirst for all things LA Kings, and PR gal for Abel Sports Management.