Mike Matheson
Mike Matheson
25-Year-Old DefensemanD
Florida Panthers
2019 Fantasy Outlook
Matheson is still waiting for that breakout campaign after recording 27 points in each of the past two seasons. The 6-foot-2, 193-pound blueliner doesn't have any glaring weaknesses but struggled with increased responsibility defensively last season, posting a minus-24 rating. While there's still time for growth at age 25, Matheson's ceiling will be capped by a lack of power-play time -- Keith Yandle and Aaron Ekblad are both locked into significantly larger roles with the extra man. Read Past Outlooks
$Signed an eight-year, $39 million contract with the Panthers in October of 2017.
Snags first point
DFlorida Panthers
October 15, 2019
Matheson picked up his first point of the season in a 6-3 win over New Jersey on Monday.
The assist came on the power play, giving Matheson only his second point on the man advantage since Dec. 6, 2018. He averaged only 48 seconds on the power play last season, so don't expect him to suddenly start racking up the points.
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
After a solid 17-point rookie campaign, Matheson took another step forward last year, setting career bests with 10 goals and 27 points. The 6-foot-2 blueliner also played 81 games for the second year in a row and has blocked 255 shots over the last two years. He exceeded 21 minutes of ice time per game, including just over a minute in an increased role on the power play. Matheson has established himself as a key piece to Florida's blue line and signed a huge eight-year contract prior to the start of the 2017-18 season. Health permitting, expect Matheson to preserve his two-way utility on the way to another 25-plus-point output this season.
The Panthers’ patience has really paid off with Matheson, a first-round pick who played three years at Boston College and spent another in the AHL before playing 81 games for Florida this past season. It was surprising how well he adjusted to the NHL as a rookie, averaging 21:03 per game -- third among Florida blueliners behind only Aaron Ekblad and Keith Yandle. Even though Matheson scored just 17 points, he’s known for his high hockey IQ and ability to move the puck. He’s also improved tremendously on the defensive side of the puck, often playing on the first penalty-killing unit. The second season is always tougher for young players, but Matheson is a virtual lock for a top-four role, which should lead to an increase in offensive production.
Florida’s willingness to trade Erik Gudbranson in the offseason likely stemmed from the franchise’s belief in Matheson’s 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 AHL’s Portland Pirates. While the former Boston College standout does bring some offensive skills to the table, it’s 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 Panthers’ 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, there’s 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.
More Fantasy News
Physical in loss
DFlorida Panthers
October 4, 2019
Matheson threw two hits and blocked two shots in Thursday's 5-2 loss to Tampa Bay.
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Assists in back-to-back games
DFlorida Panthers
April 2, 2019
Matheson picked up an assist during Monday's 5-3 win over the Capitals.
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Picks up late misconduct
DFlorida Panthers
March 24, 2019
Matheson was given a 10-minute game misconduct with 30 seconds left in the game during Saturday's big 7-3 loss to the Bruins.
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Big night off blue line
DFlorida Panthers
March 8, 2019
Matheson scored two goals on four shots while adding two hits, a blocked shot and a plus-3 rating in Friday's 6-2 win over the Wild.
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Produces helper in return
DFlorida Panthers
February 28, 2019
Matheson (lower body) registered an assist in his return from injury, but his Panthers suffered a 6-5 shootout loss to the Golden Knights on Thursday.
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