Matt Spencer THW Close-Up:
Team: Peterborough Petes (OHL)
Birthdate: March 24, 1997
Hometown: Oakville, ON
Height: 6’2″ Weight: 201lbs
NHL Draft Eligibility: 2015 first year eligible
Twitter: @matt_spencer27Draft Rankings:
NHL CS (North America) – 51
The War Room (Eldon MacDonald) – 38
TSN – 37
Craig Button (Craig’s List) – 77
Matt Spencer was chosen 3rd overall by the Petes in the 2013 OHL Priority Selection and was the first defenseman taken off the board. He came to Peterborough with high expectations based on his draft spot, but also because the team had just lost captain and stalwart Slater Koekkoek and had little in the cupboard to replace him.
Spencer has gone through a couple of lean years in Peterborough and on a struggling team. The progress in his individual game though has been evident. A solid all-around player, Spencer does not have one area where he overly excels, but none that is a glaring weakness.
Coming into this season, Spencer added extra size and muscle and his ability to log tough minutes, and a lot of minutes was noticeable. If he can make the same improvement next year that he made coming into this season, he has the chance to be one of the OHL’s best defensemen.
Taken behind Travis Konecny and Dylan Strome and ahead of Lawson Crouse and exceptional status player Sean Day, Spencer may not have the notoriety that those names have, but he will be a solid addition to any NHL system and should be a contributor for years to come.
Petes caused a stir by taking Spencer ahead of exceptional status youngster Sean Day in 2013 OHL draft. Solid blueliner, great skater.
Spencer is not the most exciting defensive in the 2015 draft, between playing for a mediocre OHL team and not having many elite tools, but once he see him begin the transition, you can see why there is reason for fussing over the former third overall pick of the OHL priority draft. His first passes are simply ferocious. Beyond that he has a good sized body, and above average tools in his skating and puck handling making him a fairly safe bet for a good professional career. His skills set would not be out of place as a late first or early second round pick, but in a draft as deep as this one, he may fall to the later second round. His overall tool set makes Spencer a worthy Tier III draft prospect
Where He’ll End Up in June:
Spencer is very likely to go somewhere in the mid-second round.
- 2014 – Canada (Ontario) U17 – World Hockey Challenge
- 2015 – Canada U18 – U18 World Junior Championships
- 3-4 years
- Risk 2/5 Reward 4/5
- Top four two way defenseman
- Gap Control
- Board Play
- Hockey IQ
Flaws/Aspects He Needs to Work On:
- Continue to develop physically to handle rigors of pro game
- Lateral Quickness
- Offense: 6/10
- Defense: 8/10
Carl covers the Edmonton Oilers for THW as well as providing additional prospect coverage. Follow him on twitter @carlTHW, connect on Facebook or contact at firstname.lastname@example.org for questions, comments or if you’re interested in him writing for you.