2020-21 Team: Chicago Steel (#27)
Date of Birth: November 14, 2002
Place of Birth: New York, NY, USA
Ht: 5-foot-10, Wt: 180 pounds
NHL Draft Eligibility: 2021 first-year eligible
- NHL Central Scouting: 9th (amongst NA skaters)
- Future Considerations: 31st
- Recruit Scouting: 36th
- Peter Baracchini’s March Rankings: 21st
- Andrew Forbes’ February Rankings: 40th
- Matthew Zator’s April Rankings: 10th
- Smaht Scouting: 33rd
- Dobber Prospects Mid- Season Rankings: 33rd
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. 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 and could very well finish 2020-21 with 50 goals. 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.
Coronato also has an incredible shot in his arsenal that’s on and off his stick in a hurry whether it be a one-timer or just a normal wrist shot. His hands are on display nightly too, as he isn’t afraid to try things one-on-one. Then to put a huge cherry on top, the crease doesn’t seem to be something he’s afraid of either, which has earned him the nickname The Bison by Steel announcer Mark Citron.
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.
Other THW Draft Profiles
Matthew Coronato – NHL Draft Projection
Even though most outlets have Coronato rated to go towards the end of the first round, I am predicting he will go much earlier than that. He may not get selected in my lofty position of 10th, but he could definitely go in the top-20 if the cards fall right and a team needs a player of his particular set of skills.
“He’s got a really good shot, good release, he can shoot the puck a bunch of different ways, and he can one-time a puck… He’s also a good skater with great explosiveness and edge work, and he’s really hard on the puck. If he gets into traffic with possession, he comes out with it. He’s just a really smart player. When we first got him, he was a guy who would beat players one-on-one and he would beat guys down the ice, but he has shown he has the ability to add pieces to his game. He’s more of a playmaker now and has learned to use his teammates more and play at different paces.” – Brock Sheahan, head coach of the Chicago Steel
“Coronato is definitely unafraid to go into the dirty areas of the ice, and more often than not, comes out of the scrum with possession of the puck. He is awesome in transition, and can move the puck freely and quickly through the neutral zone with ease. Also, he can pinpoint the perfect time for a breakout pass, and deliver it on the tape with little to no difficulty.” – Paul Zuk, Smaht Scouting
Though he isn’t the biggest player, Coronato plays something of a powerful, straight-ahead style of hockey. He has good speed when presented with space to generate a head of steam but his ability to move laterally while handling the puck leaves something to be desired. He can get caught on his heels when standing still, limiting his body control and ability to transfer his weight which leads to a slow first step and lack of acceleration. Mobility concerns aside, Coronato is an intriguing offensive player with good instincts and sense of spacing to go along with a heavy wrist shot. – Nick Richard, Dobber Prospects
- Not afraid to go to the net
- Strong two-way game
Under Construction (Improvements to Make)
- Skating technique
Coronato definitely has the potential to become a versatile top-six forward in the NHL. Think Brayden Point of the Tampa Bay Lightning, who he models his game after. The fact that he can play wing and center at a high level, and play on both special teams will almost guarantee him a spot on an NHL roster one day.
Risk – 2/5, Reward – 4/5
Fantasy Hockey Potential
Offence – 8/10, Defence – 7/10
Coronato set a new USHL record by recording a point in 28 straight games (streak started at the end of the 2019-20 season and was snapped on Jan 22, 2021, of the 2020-21 season). He also played in the 2021 BioSteel All-American Game as a member of Team White.
Matthew Coronato Statistics
Matthew Zator is a THW freelance writer, editor, part-time journalist, 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.