23-Year-Old Defenseman – Florida Panthers
Mike Matheson Contract Information:
Signed an entry-level contract with the Panthers in March 2015.
Matheson has recorded two points, both of which were goals, in his last 24 games.
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Age is determined on October 1st of each season.No Yes
Mike Matheson: Past News Updates ( ▲ View most recent update )
RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
Floridaís willingness to trade Erik Gudbranson in the offseason likely stemmed from the franchiseís belief in Mathesonís ability to be NHL-ready. The 22-year-old got a small taste of the big leagues with three NHL appearances last season, but spent most of his time accruing eight goals and 12 assists in 54 games for the AHLís Portland Pirates. While the former Boston College standout does bring some offensive skills to the table, itís wise to temper expectations early on as he adjusts to the NHL.
After a three-year career at Boston College as a strong two-way defenseman, Matheson made the jump to the AHL for the conclusion of the 2014-15 season. He didn't score a goal and recorded two assists in only five games in the minors, but the Panthers don't believe the lack of professional experience will necessarily preclude him from cracking the Opening Night roster. More than willing to jump into the play on offense, Matheson played alongside another excellent two-way defenseman in Noah Hanifin at BC last season, which at times left them exposed on the back end. As a result, Matheson will need to show he's capable as a shutdown defender before moving up the Panthers' depth chart.
The 20-year-old Matheson is slated to begin his junior season at Boston College in the fall, temporarily leaving his development out of the Panthersí hands. That being said, the BC coaching staff has certainly guided the first-round selection from 2012 on a favorable career trajectory, with the blueliner earning second-team All-America honors as a sophomore. Matheson, who checks in at a robust 6-foot-2 and 189 pounds, has accumulated 46 points in 74 career games with the Eagles, and seemingly has nothing left to prove at the NCAA level. Once his college campaign concludes, thereís a decent chance Matheson could get some run with the NHL club for a short time late in the season, as the Panthers look to assess their blue line options for 2015-16.
Matheson is coming off a stellar freshman campaign with Boston College, and will probably remain there for at least the 2013-14 season. He racked up eight goals and 17 assists in 36 games with the Golden Eagles, but the 19-year-old probably won't be a factor in the NHL for a couple years. Judging by his most recent campaign though, Matheson is certainly worth keeping an eye on for the future.