2022-23 Team: Chicoutimi Saguenéens (QMJHL)
Date of Birth: Dec. 31, 2004
Place of Birth: Sackville, NB
Height: 6-foot-6 Weight: 222 pounds
NHL Draft Eligibility: First-year eligible
- NHL Central Scouting (NA Skaters): 53rd
- FC Hockey: 71st
If teams are looking to add a big, physical right-shot defenceman to their prospect pool, Chicoutimi Saguenéens’ Matteo Mann may be exactly what they are looking for. The 6-foot-6 defenceman isn’t shy about using his size, knocking the opposing teams’ players down to the ice every chance he gets. Whether it was along the boards or in front of the net, he made life difficult for players across the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (QMJHL) anytime they entered his zone.
One impressive attribute about Mann is how smart he is on the ice. Not only can he disturb the play with a physical hit, but he also shows that he can use his long reach to knock the puck off the opposition’s stick on a consistent basis. He also understands that his role is to be an anchor on his pairing, meaning he is rarely caught pinching down the boards and is more often than not in a good position to defend breakouts.
This past season, Mann was invited to the Top Prospect Game, where he skated beside Jordan Tourigny of the Shawinigan Cataractes on Team Red. He finished the game with two shots on goal and was able to show just how strong he was, winning board battles and clearing out the front of the net during the game. Overall, he played well, showing off to the scouts and everyone in attendance that he can shut down some of the best prospects from this upcoming draft.
Maybe the most surprising part of Mann’s game is his skating ability. While he is not a particularly fast skater, his long strides help him beat forecheckers to the puck on dump-ins which allows him to try and start the transition game the other way. He is decent at skating backwards, which allows him to disrupt the puck carrier as they attempt to transition the puck into his zone. For a player his size, he has good mobility that should get better as he continues to develop.
One area of Mann’s game that he needs to work on is contributing in the offensive zone. He has now played 128 regular season games yet has only recorded 17 points and 99 shots on goal. The good news is that he did record over a shot on goal per game this season, finishing with 48 shots in 45 games. If he can develop that side of his game, it will make it easier for him to transition to the pro game, as organizations are focusing more on versatile players that have the ability to chip in offensively once in a while.
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Matteo Mann – NHL Draft Projection
Based on his size and position, there is a very good chance that Mann is a top-100 pick in this upcoming draft. Organizations have shown a willingness to draft bigger players earlier than anticipated, and it is not often a 6-foot-6, 220-pound 18-year-old is available. Expect him to be picked somewhere in the 90-100 range, which translates to the late third or early fourth round.
“Mann is a big stay-at-home defender that uses his size and IQ to allow him to maintain as the team’s anchor whenever he’s on the ice. He plays an extremely strong game in the defensive net-front and has his opponents thinking twice when entering corner battles.” – Mitchell Skilton, FC Hockey
Related: 2023 NHL Draft Guide
Latest News & Highlights
“Mann is a rangy defenseman who can contribute at both ends of the ice and on either side of the puck. He has a distinct physical upside with a reach that can intimidate most puck carriers but it was a noticeable improvement in his skating that really stood out to me.” – Shaun Richardson, FC Hockey
“Mann is a pesky and physical defenseman with a commanding presence, terrific shutdown abilities and surprising mobility for a player his size. He plays a hard and mean game, but also a smart and disruptive one. He brings a large wingspan that covers a lot of space from opponents. A disturbing competitor, he plays the body as soon as he’s at opponents’ reach and makes their lives miserable.” – Joey Fortin Boulay, FC Hockey
- Reach with his stick
- Defending in front of his own net
Under Construction – Improvements to Make
- Offensive production
Mann has NHL size but needs to round out his game if he wants to have a long career at the pro level. If he hits, though, he could be a force, thanks to his physicality and high hockey IQ. He is definitely a project but has the potential to be a third-pairing shutdown defender who also plays on the penalty kill.
Risk – 1.5/5, Reward – 2.5/5
Fantasy Hockey Potential
Offence – 2/10, Defense – 7.5/10