NHL Draft Prospect Profile #69: Matia Marcantuoni
Drafted 92nd overall by the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Matia Marcantuoni is a player who possesses great individual skills, but is unable to put it all together on the ice because he can’t stay healthy. Touted as a potential top 10 pick last summer, Marcantuoni has suffered a series of injuries that have really made a lot of scouts question his durability, and development over the past year. In 2010-11 Marcantuoni would miss time with an ankle injury. 2011-12 started with Marcantuoni selected to play for Team Canada at the Ivan Hlinka tournament, but he lasted all of one period before being knocked out of the tourney with an injury. He would go on to suffer a concussion in the regular season that would keep him out of the Kitchener lineup for several weeks. When he finally returned, a shoulder injury would derail the rest of his season in January. Marcantuoni’s Ranger teammate, Radek Faksa was profiled earlier in our series.
Born Feb 22 1994 — Toronto, ONT
Height 6.00 — Weight 189 — Shoots Right
Marcantuoni is an outstanding skater. He absolutely flies around the ice, and is in our opinion, among the five fastest skaters in this draft. He has great acceleration reaching that top speed very quickly. His edgework, and agility are top notch, allowing him to quickly get past defenders. He’s also strong on his skates, has excellent balance and is difficult to knock off the puck.
Marcantouni has all the tools to be a goal scorer. He has a very good shot and a deceptive release that can beat goaltenders. He has the soft hands that help him to convert in tight. Marcantuoni works in traffic and isn’t afraid to battle for a puck in the corner or infront of the net, and often wins those battles despite his smaller size. One area where he can certainly improve is in his playmaking ability, however. Marcantuoni seems to lack vision, and often makes poor reads on his passes, leading to giveaways in the offensive zone. His offensive zone decision making certainly needs to improve before he can reach the next level. This issue really leads to Marcantuoni being less of an offensive force than he could be.
Marcantuoni’s defensive game is best described as average. He certainly works hard, and brings the compete level at the defensive end of the ice, engaging in board battles and being physically involved in the play. However his hockey IQ and positioning are weaknesses and ones that Marcantuoni must work to improve.
We do think that a major cause of the poor positioning defensively, bad decisions in the offensive zone, and poor hockey IQ over all is the amount of time Marcantuoni has spent in and out of the lineup, over the last two years. With more experience, playing time, and coaching these weakness can certainly be corrected. However you cannot really teach the pure skills Marcantuoni possesses. Staying healthy enough to develop those raw skills is the biggest issue here
When you look at Marcantuoni’s skill set, there is a real boom or bust quality here. His pure skills are exceptional, and if not for other factors, we’d be looking at him and comparing him to Marian Gaborik of the New York Rangers. However the inability to stay healthy is a huge concern. We also just don’t see Marcantuoni producing the way he should given his skill set and he really needs to develop his hockey sense. He just doesn’t put up the points you’d expect from him. As such he might end up much further down the NHL food chain and is more comparable to someone like Andrew Cogliano of the Anaheim Ducks.
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