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Welcome to the first DP Draft Reports of 2022! This week’s edition features reports on Denton Mateychuk, Matthew Poitras, Simon Forsmark, Rutger McGroarty, and Vladimir Grudinin.
Mateychuk, a defenceman with the Moose Jaw Warriors of the WHL, was the DP Scouting Team’s top-ranked Canadian blueliner in our midseason rankings, coming in at 16th overall on our board. He has been a workhorse for the Warriors this season and currently sits second in scoring among all WHL defenders.
Matthew Poitras of the Guelph Storm in the OHL is a well-rounded forward who has been graded as an “A” level prospect by NHL Central Scouting. His production on the season has been a bit underwhelming but there are a lot of pro-level traits in his game that will continue to garner interest in the mid to late first round.
Simon Forsmark is a left-handed, two-way defenceman with good size who has split time between the SHL and J20 Nationell in the Örebro system this season. He has built up a substantial lead in scoring among draft-eligible defencemen in the J20 Nationell despite playing half of his season at the men’s level.
Rutger McGroarty was one of the most hyped prospects to begin the year but he has slid down most draft boards as he has been outperformed by other members of his team. He has produced well with 32 points through 26 games so far this season but he hasn’t necessarily been the driving force on a line with Logan Cooley.
Grudinin is an undersized but mobile defenceman who has played games in the MHL, VHL, and KHL this season for CSKA. Though his minutes have been limited, the fact that he has been given a look at the KHL level despite his age and small stature is encouraging.
Let’s get to the game reports.
Denton Mateychuk | RD | Moose Jaw vs. Red Deer (WHL) | 2021-12-31
0G, 1A, 0 SOG, 31:21 TOI
Jameson Ewasiuk: With Moose Jaw’s top defenceman Daemon Hunt out of the lineup since early December, Mateychuk has been tasked with an even larger role. The first-round ranked defender was definitely up to the task in this tough matchup as he logged the most minutes of any player on the ice against a hard-working Red Deer Rebels squad that is currently fourth in the WHL.
Offensively, the young rearguard wastes no time in moving the puck up ice, often leading the team into the offensive zone. His ability to shift gears and explode through the neutral zone allowed him to consistently create space and gain zone entry throughout the game. His confidence with the puck was on full display in this contest but at the same time, he was conscientious when it came to picking his spots and not putting his team at risk defensively. Playing on the top pairing next to Cole Jordan – a composed and reliable defender – allowed Mateychuk to act as the rover while knowing that he could rely on his partner to effectively hold down the fort.
Mateychuk continues to show improvement in his overall game. While he will likely never be a shutdown defender, it is great to see him become more consistent in his ability to break up plays