Mike Matheson
Mike Matheson
27-Year-Old DefensemanD
Pittsburgh Penguins
2020 Fantasy Outlook
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. 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.
Suits up for Game 1
DPittsburgh Penguins
May 16, 2021
Matheson (face) had one shot on goal and two hits in Sunday's 4-3 overtime loss to the Islanders in Game 1.
ANALYSIS
Matheson was back in the lineup for the first time since May 1 and logged a shade under 26 minutes of ice time, including duty on Pittsburgh's second power-play unit. The 27-year-old Matheson had five goals and 16 points in 44 games during the regular season, adding a plus-9 rating and 28 PIM.
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NHL Stats
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2019
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2016
2020 NHL Game Log
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2019 NHL Game Log
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2018 NHL Game Log
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2017 NHL Game Log
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2020–21 Time On Ice Stats
  • Average Time On Ice:
    18:38
  • Average Power Play TOI:
    0:58
  • Average Short-Handed TOI:
    0:06
 
Ice Time
Power Play
Short-Handed
2018–19
22:19
0:48
2:24
2019–20
18:02
0:13
1:13
2020–21
18:38
0:58
0:06
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
2019
2018
2017
2016
2015
2014
2013
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 in Game 1
DPittsburgh Penguins
May 16, 2021
Matheson (face) isn't listed among the scratches, so he'll be in the Game 1 lineup Sunday against the Islanders, Seth Rorabaugh of Tribune-Review Sports reports.
ANALYSIS
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Skating Monday
DPittsburgh Penguins
Face
May 10, 2021
Matheson (face) was on the ice for Monday's optional skate, Dave Molinari of DKPittsburghSports.com reports.
ANALYSIS
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Considered week-to-week
DPittsburgh Penguins
Face
May 3, 2021
Matheson (face) was labeled week-to-week ahead of Monday's matchup with the Flyers, Matt Vensel of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports.
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Suffers injury Saturday
DPittsburgh Penguins
Face
May 1, 2021
Matheson was hit in the face by a puck in the second period of Saturday's game versus the Capitals, Tom Gulitti of NHL.com reports.
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Dishes pair of helpers
DPittsburgh Penguins
April 11, 2021
Matheson recorded two assists, three shots on goal and a plus-2 rating in Sunday's 5-2 win over the Devils.
ANALYSIS
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