Matthew Soto – 2023 NHL Draft Prospect Profile

Matthew Soto

2022-23 Team: Kingston Frontenacs (OHL)
Date of Birth: August 31, 2005
Place of Birth: Oakville, ON, Canada
Ht: 5-foot-11 Wt: 168 pounds
Shoots: Right
Position: Right Wing
NHL Draft Eligibility: 2023 first-year eligible


Without 2022 fourth-overall pick Shane Wright, the Kingston Frontenacs struggled to gain traction in the Ontario Hockey League (OHL) in 2022-23 finishing with a record of 27-38-1-2 (57 points). They traded the aforementioned Wright in January for a haul that included Ethan Miedema, Gavin McCarthy, and seven draft picks, effectively signaling to their fanbase that they were heading into a rebuild. The season wasn’t all bad, however, as second-year forward Matthew Soto stood out as one of their best and most hard-working players. He finished with 15 goals and 42 points, second only to the newly-acquired Miedema in points and third behind Owen Outwater and again, Miedema, in goals.

Matthew Soto Kingston Frontenacs
Matthew Soto, Kingston Frontenacs (Robert Lefebvre /OHL Images)

While Soto didn’t blow the roof off with his production, he was one of the Frontenacs’ key players both at even strength and on special teams as he finished with five power play goals and seven power play assists. Known for his motor and relentless work ethic on and off the ice, he has all the tools to become an effective third/fourth-line grinder in the NHL. Combined with his hockey IQ and exceptional understanding of the game, he might even get some reps in the top-six from time to time.

Soto is an agile skater with quick hands in tight, which allows him to make plays in traffic or within a few feet of the net. His anticipation offensively and defensively has also been noted by scouts as he seems to know where to be to break up a play in his own zone or find space in the offensive zone to either get a scoring chance or create one for his teammates.

Related: THW’s 2023 NHL Draft Guide

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The only thing that might hold Soto back is his skating mechanics and overall foot speed. But working with a skating coach might remedy that to a point where it’s not a weakness that will keep him away from the NHL. Overall, the most important attribute he possesses is his work ethic and drive to be a better player than he was in the previous game. That alone will give him a great chance at success in the NHL.

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Matthew Soto – NHL Draft Projection

Ranked as low as 156th by McKeen’s Hockey and as high as 62nd by Recruit Scouting, Soto could be selected as soon as the second round. He might also have to wait until the fourth round to hear his name called. Regardless, I see a team taking a flyer on him in the mid-rounds based primarily on his work ethic and hockey IQ. I see those two things being the most important factors to future success, not just in the NHL, but pro hockey in general. If he falls past the fourth or fifth round, the team that gets him could have a possible steal on their hands as he has the makings of a future difference-maker in the middle six.


“Soto has been extremely underrated this season, with few scouts hyping him up, which I don’t quite understand. He has great puck skills, is an excellent playmaker, has terrific off-puck instincts to find soft ice, drives the middle lane, and is one of the youngest players in the class. He also has a high motor, which when paired with his efficient movements, makes him a very effective forechecker and penalty killer. Soto scans the ice very well, makes good passing decisions in transition to diffuse pressure, and finds pockets of space upon entry in the offensive zone better than most OHLers. He is definitely undersized as of now, but he has a decent frame to grow into.” – Sebastian High, Dobber Prospects

2023 NHL Entry Draft Guide Connor Bedard and Adam Fantilli Banner

“Intelligent winger, Matthew Soto, is constantly moving. He has an impressive work ethic and always wants to be on the ice and working to get stronger. Soto’s mind was not only built for the sport, but also for the athlete lifestyle as he goes through a never-ending cycle of skate, gym, play, repeat. Matthew is the type of player where if you need his assistance, he will already be aware of what needs to be done. His understanding of the game is outstanding so when he is given a task, he has no problem carrying it out.” – Melaina Tucker, Prospects By Sports Illustrated

“Soto’s unrelenting pace overwhelms opponents. Crossovers, cutbacks, and dekes leave defenders confused as he barrels his way to the net. Never flatfooted, he constantly flips between scoring and supporting position, engaging in every battle possible. When opponents recover possession, he’s the first player to apply pressure” – Elite Prospects 2023 NHL Draft Guide (from ‘Matthew Soto Scouting Report’ Elite Prospects).


  • Work ethic
  • Motor
  • Hockey IQ
  • Playmaking
  • Stickhandling in tight

Under Construction (Improvements to Make)

  • Overall foot speed
  • Skating mechanics

NHL Potential

If nothing else, Soto has the floor of a capable replacement player that will be one of the best call-ups an NHL team can have. His ceiling, however, is a top-six two-way monster that can fill a role on the power play and be a key member of the penalty kill. Most likely, he will fall in the middle of those two extremes as a capable third/fourth-line energy player. But that’s the realm of possibility with Soto. He won’t be a top-line forward by any means, but someone every championship team needs on their roster.

Risk-Reward Analysis

Risk – 2/5, Reward – 4/5

Fantasy Hockey Potential

Offence – 7/10, Defence – 8/10

Matthew Soto Statistics


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