Mike Matheson

Mike Matheson

27-Year-Old DefensemanD
Pittsburgh Penguins
2021 Fantasy Outlook
Matheson's eight-year, $39 million contract he signed while a member of the Panthers back in 2017 remains a significant long-term anchor for Pittsburgh, but he did play better in his first year with the Penguins in 2020-21 (five goals, 16 points in 44 games) than his last few in Florida. Matheson was a plus player (plus-9 rating) for the first time in his career last season in addition to seeing a significant bump in power-play time (58 seconds per game), although he did nothing (one assist) with that opportunity. The Penguins simply need Matheson to play steady, mistake-free hockey, something he is capable of doing, but not a role that will lead to much fantasy value. Read Past Outlooks
$Signed an eight-year, $39 million contract extension with the Panthers in October of 2017. Traded to the Penguins in September of 2020.
Provides two points from back end
DPittsburgh Penguins
October 23, 2021
Matheson tallied a goal and an assist with two shots and two blocks in Saturday's 7-1 win over Toronto.
ANALYSIS
Matheson scored what proved to be the game-winner, driving wide on a 2-on-2 rush and stuffing home a wraparound to give the Penguins a 2-1 lead 1:38 into the second period. He also picked up an assist on Evan Rodrigues' power-play tally that rounded out the scoring early in the third. The points were the first of the year for Matheson, who made his season debut Tuesday.
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2021 NHL Game Log
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2020 NHL Game Log
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2021–22 Time On Ice Stats
  • Average Time On Ice:
    18:36
  • Average Power Play TOI:
    0:29
  • Average Short-Handed TOI:
    0:28
 
Ice Time
Power Play
Short-Handed
2019–20
18:02
0:13
1:13
2020–21
18:38
0:58
0:06
2021–22
18:36
0:29
0:28
Penguins Depth Chart
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Penguins Power Play Depth Chart
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Recent RotoWire Articles Featuring Mike Matheson
FanDuel NHL: Tuesday Targets
56 days ago
Jason Chen has your Opening Night FanDuel insights for Tuesday, recommending a pair of Penguins forwards against the Lightning.
DraftKings NHL: Tuesday Breakdown
56 days ago
Hockey is back, and Sasha Yodashkin has your Tuesday DraftKings recommendations for building a winning Opening Night lineup.
Playoff Primer: East Division Preview
208 days ago
In the second of RotoWire's playoff primers, AJ Scholz breaks down the East division's matchups and makes his picks for the first two series.
NHL: Playoff Pool Cheat Sheet
210 days ago
Positional rankings for 2020-21 playoff pools.
NHL Waiver Wire: Pickups of the Week
236 days ago
Evan Berofsky analyzes the top waiver-wire options for the week, including the Devils' Jack Hughes.
Past Fantasy Outlooks
2020
2019
2018
2017
2016
2015
2014
2013
The departure of Jack Johnson means there will need to be a new scapegoat on the blue line in Pittsburgh this season and Matheson has all the attributes to fill that void for the Penguins faithful given his large contract and the fact that he was acquired by trading away folk hero Patric Hornqvist. In his last three seasons, the 25-year-old defender has been able to reach the 20-point threshold, including the 2019-20 campaign in which he did so despite playing in just 59 contests. If Matheson is able to contribute at a similar pace this year, it will no doubt be thanks to new defensive coach Todd Reirden.
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.
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
Playing against Stars
DPittsburgh Penguins
October 19, 2021
Matheson (lower body) will make his season debut versus Dallas on Tuesday, Seth Rorabaugh of TribLive.com reports.
ANALYSIS
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Questionable Tuesday
DPittsburgh Penguins
Lower Body
October 18, 2021
Matheson (lower body) practiced Monday but remains a question mark ahead of Tuesday's clash with Dallas, Wes Crosby of NHL.com reports.
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Still sidelined Saturday
DPittsburgh Penguins
Lower Body
October 16, 2021
Matheson (lower body) remains out for Saturday's game versus the Blackhawks.
ANALYSIS
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Not playing Thursday
DPittsburgh Penguins
Lower Body
October 14, 2021
Matheson (lower body) will not be available for Thursday's contest against Florida, Seth Rorabaugh of TribLive.com reports.
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Deemed day-to-day
DPittsburgh Penguins
Lower Body
October 13, 2021
Matheson (lower body) is considered day-to-day despite missing Wednesday's practice session.
ANALYSIS
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