2022-23 Team: Halifax Mooseheads
Date of Birth: Mar 1, 2005
Place of Birth: Chateauguay, QC, CAN
Ht: 5-foot-11 Wt: 187 pounds
Position: Right Wing
NHL Draft Eligibility: 2023 first-year eligible
- NHL Central Scouting: 27th (amongst NA skaters)
- The Hockey Writers (Baracchini): 56th
- FC Hockey: 36th
- TSN/McKenzie: 45th
- TSN/Craig Button: 30th
- EliteProspects.com 61st
- Draft Prospects Hockey 51st
Mathieu Cataford has been one of the top prospects in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League this season. Playing on a contending Halifax Mooseheads squad, led offensively by older players such as Jordan Dumais, Josh Lawrence and Markus Vidicek, Cataford sits fourth in team scoring with 31 goals and 75 points in 68 games, playing in a middle-six role with limited power-play minutes.
Related: THW’s 2023 NHL Draft Guide
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Cataford’s style should translate very well to a bottom-six role in the NHL. He not only excels but seeks out opportunities to engage physically, especially along the boards and is consistently attacking the front of the net. He tends to win most one-on-one battles because he doesn’t rely solely on physicality but uses intelligent play with solid positioning and timing and uses his teammates in support.
His defensive game is a strength as he has excellent gap control and positioning and quickly identifies any openings to pressure the puck carrier using his physicality to strip pucks to begin the transition game. He’s a north-south skater who has good speed but will need to improve his lateral mobility and stride to compete against professionals. Offensively, Cataford is an effective puck-possession player due to his physicality and puck-handling skills, and he plays an effective forechecking role. He most needs to improve on his pace of play, but that should come with time as he is an intelligent and highly coachable player.
Other THW Draft Profiles
Mathieu Cataford – NHL Draft Projection
It would be a surprise to not hear his name called early in the second round. Despite his slightly undersized stature, his intelligence and work ethic make him a player that general managers love to add to their organizations.
“His ability to string plays together with intelligent positioning and quick reads is highly translatable, giving him a relatively safe floor as an NHL prospect.” Nick Richard
“He can skate, he’s pretty smart, he’s got a little jam in his game, he can shoot pretty good. He’s solid.” Grant McCagg
- Work ethic
- Compete level
Under Construction (Improvements to Make)
- Shot release
He doesn’t play a flashy game but relies on a well-rounded skillset to make an impact. His intelligence and work ethic allow him to take over games at times. He has quick hands at the net, with a good one-touch finishing ability. He has a hard and accurate shot to go along with his good passing skills, but his release will need to speed up for success at the NHL level. His effective two-way play makes Cataford a potential middle-six winger who can add quality depth offence while making life hard on his opponents defensively.
Mathieu Cataford Statistics