The New Jersey Devils and New York Rangers rivalry never seems to take a rest and the summer of 2012 was no different. For old times sake, the Devils eliminated the #1 seeded Rangers from this year’s Conference Finals and any hope their dream season ended by lifting Lord Stanley’s Cup.
Rangers fans felt like they got the last laugh because “Matteau’s” name was announced by the Devils as 29th overall. Stephane Matteau scored a combined regular season and post season goal total of 10 in 1993-94 and the only one anyone remembers is “The Goal” heard round the world for every Devils and Rangers fan out there that sent New Jersey home, and New York onto the finals.
So, from one generation to the next, the American born 210 lb 6’2” Center inked an entry level contract last week. Rumor is there’s a good chance he makes the active roster but I’m not sure if I see that happening. He’s young and despite some size and speed the Devils could use up from with the loss of Alexei Ponikarovsky, I think you’ll see him spend some time up in Albany to develop and get called up to cover injuries or some healthy scratches pending on how players are progressing.
Matteau brings size as a power forward and has no problem going to the gritty areas on the ice and can score plenty of goals that way. Despite needing to work on his skills, he’s actually good enough to get the job done and get away with skills he currently possesses. But you know under Pete DeBoer, Scott Stevens, and Matt Shaw, it won’t be acceptable.
While he plays on the edge, and puts up a lot of penalties, the Devils need those forwards who play physical and grind out every shift. The only details we know as of now, is that Stefan’s contract is entry level. And according to Uncle Lou, that’s all we’re getting for now.
“Stefan Matteau is a size and strength power forward, who we consider to be one of our top prospects,” said Lamoriello.
Matteau spent the past two seasons with the United States Development Program. He attended the USA Hockey’s Under 20 Junior Evaluation Camp in Lake Placid, NY and in 46 games for the under-18 squad in 2011-12 he recorded 15 goals, 17 assists, for 32 points and a team leading 166 penalty minutes. He also played for Team USA’s under-17 team in 10-11 tallying 65 penalty minutes, 7 goals, and 11 assists.