A big-bodied forward with a booming shot and above-average playmaking abilities. His skating is a notable deficiency, but he still has the potential to be a first-line winger with PP1 upside.
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July 2023 – GM Barry Trotz was clear in his message to his amateur scouting staff for the 2023 draft: swing for the fences. Indeed they did with Matthew Wood. He profiles as a highly-skilled shooter and scorer with solid playmaking tendencies, but flawed skating mechanics and questionable tenacity. He had made noticeable improvements to his skating by the U-18 tournament, so there is still hope that he can become an NHL average skater to pair with his other high-end skills. This was backed up by 13 points in seven games at the U-18s, good for second on the team behind phenom Macklin Celebrini. Nashville will likely send him back to UConn for his second season, and they likely plan on giving him as much time as needed to develop. If all breaks right, we could be looking at a point-per-game player with a spot on 1PP when Nashville is ready to contend. Jeff Grybel
June 2023 – Wood has been selected 15th overall by the Nashville Predators in the 2023 NHL Draft. Curtis Rines
April 2023 – Wood was the youngest player in the NCAA this season after joining UConn as a 17-year-old. Despite being the youngest player, Wood certainly does not look like it, nor did he play like it. Wood is noticeably the biggest player on the ice in every game he plays and looks even bigger than the 6’3”, 190 pounds he’s listed at. He boasts an excellent shot and a nose for a net which allows him to score from both range and from in tight. He put up 34 points in 35 games with the Huskies, absurd numbers for a player his age. Despite his success, major question marks surrounding his skating, compete level, and lackadaisical handling of the puck exist, and present real risk as to whether he will ever reach his fullest potential. Jordan Harris
September 2022 – Matthew Wood had a prolific season for Victoria in the BCHL in 2021-22, notching a staggering 45 goals and 40 assists in 46 games to lead the league in scoring. He suited up for Canada at the U18 World Championships last spring, picking up a pair of goals through four games, and again at the recent Hlinka Gretzky Cup where he scored two goals and three assists in five games to help secure a gold medal finish.
Wood is one of the best pure goal-scorers in the draft this year. The tall, rangy winger has an elite shot and a knack for scoring goals at a high rate. His release is extremely quick and he gets lots of power behind every shot. Wood’s ability to find the back of the net also stems from his high-end hands and IQ with the puck. He’s got a long reach and a good active stick, and can find passing and shooting lanes well, but he’s got to improve his speed, mobility and two-way game. He’ll be the youngest player in the NCAA this year during his freshman season at UConn, so it’ll be important to keep expectations to a reasonable level. Evan Pace
|2014-2015||BC Junior Canucks||Brick Invitational||6||1||2||3||0|||||Playoffs||1||0||0||0||0|
|2018-2019||Nanaimo Clippers U15 A1||VIBHL||-||58||52||110||-||||
|2019-2020||North Shore Warriors U15 Prep||CSSHL U15||30||40||31||71||6|||||Playoffs||2||2||5||7||0|
|North Shore Warriors U15 Prep||John Reid Bantam||5||7||6||13||2||||
|2020-2021||North Island Silvertips U18 AAA||BCEHL U18||0||0||0||0||0||||
|2022-2023||Univ. of Connecticut||NCAA||35||11||23||34||4||||
|Canada U18||Hlinka Gretzky Cup||5||2||3||5||0||||
|2023-2024||Univ. of Connecticut||NCAA||17||7||5||12||10||||