2016-17 Team: Brandon Wheat Kings (#12)
Date of Birth: June 14, 1999
Place of Birth: Winnipeg, Manitoba
Ht: 6’1″ Wt: 194 lbs
NHL Draft Eligibility: 2017 first-year eligible
- THW (Pike’s Picks): 44th (final)
- Future Considerations: 89th (final)
- ISS: not ranked (May)
- Bob McKenzie: 56th (Mid-season)
- Craig Button: 68th (final)
- The Hockey News: 46th (final)
Aside from perhaps Quebec’s D’artagnan Joly, Stelio Mattheos may boast the coolest name in the entire 2017 draft class – for the record, his full first name is Stylianos. Once an extremely highly-touted prospect, Mattheos’ time with the Brandon Wheat Kings has been largely spent in the shadow of presumptive first overall pick Nolan Patrick. Let’s open this up with a rather clear declaration: no, Mattheos is not as fully developed or as dynamic a player as Patrick. But he’s a very effective player in his own right.
At the WHL level, Mattheos has established himself as almost the ideal middle-six center: he’s good at everything, great at a few things, and doesn’t have any big holes in his game. He’s a strong skater. He’s a smart defensive player. He’s not a huge guy, but he uses his frame to battle effectively in front of the net and in the corners. He’s got a strong shot and works the puck around well in the offensive zone. After a rock-solid rookie season in 2015-16 that saw him go to the Memorial Cup tournament, Mattheos was occasionally thrust into the spotlight with Patrick’s frequent injury absences in 2016-17. He was more than up to the challenge and ended up doubling his rookie production. He was thrown into the deep end, facing teams that were primed to face Patrick, and managed to survive and occasionally thrive. That’s a very good sign for his future progression.
If anything, the injuries suffered by Patrick were a big help to Mattheos’ draft stock. If he hadn’t been thrust into a prominent role, it’s probable that he may have dropped into the middle of the 2017 NHL Draft class merely because he lacks any particularly elite attributes. But Mattheos’ 2016-17 season suggests that the whole of his game may be larger than the sum of its parts, and that if he’s given an opportunity to play a bigger role for his club he’s good enough and smart enough to adapt to his circumstances. He’ll be a useful addition to any team’s prospect pool.
NHL Draft Projection
Mattheos projects to go somewhere between the second and fourth round.
Also continued to like Stelio Mattheos. Liked him at the Hlinka and liked him again here. Energy, hustle, and a great shot.
— OHL Prospects (@BrockOtten) April 23, 2017
Have seen people knock Stelio Mattheos, but there is something to his industrial skill set + competitive fire. He makes plays out of will.
— DraftBuzz Hockey (@draftbuzzhockey) February 18, 2017
- Strong shooter
- Effective passer
- Strong work ethic
- Game lacks any big holes or deficiencies
Under Construction (Improvements to Make)
- Arguably lacks any elite attributes
- Could use his teammates more effectively
- Could use his size and physicality a bit more consistently
Mattheos projects as a second or third line center.
Risk – 1/5, Reward – 3.5/5
Fantasy Hockey Potential
Offense 8/10, Defense 8/10
Mattheos has donned the maple leaf for Team Canada on a few occasions. He represented his country at the World Under-17 Challenge, the Under-18 Worlds and the Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament. He was named one of Canada’s top players at the Under-18s.
Ryan Pike has covered the Calgary Flames and the NHL Draft extensively since 2010 as a Senior Writer for The Hockey Writers and Senior Contributing Editor of FlamesNation.ca. A member of the Professional Hockey Writers Association, he lives in Calgary.