Welcome back to Top Shelf Prospects, the daily column that brings you the next crop of professional hockey players. Each day I will bring you a new player profile or topical article in the lead-up to the 2021 NHL Draft. Be sure to bookmark the site, follow me on Twitter, and spread the word for the site that will bring you analytical and critical profiles and scouting reports! Last Word On Hockey Prospects is your new headquarters for everything “NHL Draft”! We have a complete listing of our draft articles here. Today we bring you our Matthew Coronato Scouting Report.
After their promising 2019-20 season was cut short due to COVID-19, the Chicago Steel came back with a lineup that was just as strong or stronger this year, despite losing some of their top players. Forward Matthew Coronato was a huge part of the success, moving up to the top line. He scored 48 goals and 37 assists for 85 points in 51 games this year. Coronato led the league in goals and plus/minus. He has added seven goals and 10 points in six playoff games, helping the Steel to the Clark Cup Final. The series is currently tied at a game a piece.
In 2019-20, Coronato was a productive rookie despite not getting as much ice time as he would get this season. A third-round pick in the 2019 USHL Draft, he put up 18 goals as well as 22 assists for 40 points in 45 games. Coronato was also named to the USHL Second All-Rookie Team.
Coronato will attend Harvard University next season. He will have some familiar company with linemate Sean Farrell also headed to Harvard. Should he change his mind, his OHL rights are owned by the Barrie Colts.
Matthew Coronato Scouting Report
Left Wing/Right Wing/Centre — shoots Right
Born November 14th, 2002 — Huntington, New York
Height 5’10” — Weight 183 lbs [178 cm / 83 kg]
Coronato could use some work on his skating. His stride is a bit short and choppy. This takes away from his acceleration and top-end speed. He also could use some work on his agility and edgework. Coronato should be able to improve these areas if he can work with a good skating coach. In fact, his skating has already improved from his rookie year in the USHL. Overall he is decent but could be much better with a bit of work. One area that he does excel is in his strength and balance on his skates. He has a low centre of gravity. He is very hard to knock off the puck. If Coronato goes into a battle for the puck, he usually comes out with it. This is true along the boards and in front of the net.
Coronato has an outstanding wrist shot and release. He may even have the best shot in the draft. He has real power and accuracy on his wrist shot, as well as the ability to quickly change the angle and release point with his quick hands. This extends to his snapshot as well, and he can use that as a weapon on the wing. Coronato has a very good one-timer and a knack for getting it on the net from the “Ovechkin Spot” on the power play. He is also able to establish his position in front of the net, getting deflections and pouncing on rebounds. He has the ability to elevate the puck quickly and beat goalies in tight.
Coronato’s game is relatively simple. He plays a very “North-South” style, not trying a lot of fancy dangles or slick plays. Coronato is always driving the net, both with and without the puck. He forechecks effectively as well as battling well along the boards. His passing game is decent but he projects to be more of a goal scorer than a playmaker. He moves the puck with short, quick passes and then looks to get open away from the play.
Coronato is also a good defensive player. He backchecks and works to support the defence down low. However, he can be overpowered by bigger and stronger opponents. He provides effective back pressure against the rush. Coronato is strong positionally and uses his stick as well as his body to cut down passing and shooting lanes. He reads the play well and anticipates where to be to cut off scoring chances. He has a non-stop motor and is willing to battle for pucks in all three zones. When a turnover is created, Coronato is quick to move the puck up the ice and start the transition game.
Projection and Comparison
Coronato is a versatile player. He has been used in all three forward positions for the Steel over the past two years. That versatility will also be a major asset, though he will need to improve his lateral mobility in order to excel at the centre position in the pros. His future may lie on the wing instead. Coronato will need some time, and going to Harvard will give him a reduced schedule and allow him to put on weight in the weight room. He could be a top-six NHL forward. Coronato can play on the power play and penalty kill if he reaches his ceiling. His game is reminiscent of Kyle Palmieri but this is a stylistic comparison only and not one based on skill and ability.
The following is a compilation of some of the highlight packages and features of Matthew Coronato that are available on youtube.
Check back tomorrow for our next NHL Draft Article.
Matthew Coronato Scouting Report Main Photo:
— DobberProspects (@DobberProspects) February 2, 2021