The next player we are covering in our draft profile series is Matthew Coronato. An offensively minded winger with a really nice shot, Coronato is a great scorer who may even fall to the second round to the Flames. Coronato is ranked 24th in TWC’s 2021 Consolidated NHL Draft Rankings.
Who is Matthew Coronato?
Born November 14 2002, Coronato is in the older group of this draft class. He has played for the USHL’s Chicago Steel the past two seasons and is committed to attend Harvard University next year. Coronato is listed at 5’10” and 183 pounds, a little smaller than the typical NHL forward, that hasn’t stopped him so far.
Though he shoots right, Coronato has primarily played on the left wing in Chicago, and will presumably continue on that flank for the Crimson.
Matthew Coronato’s on-ice production
Coronato has a wealth of experience in the USHS and USHL.
|2018–19||D-2||BEAST 16U||Yale Jr. Bulldogs 16U AAA||8||4||4||8|
Looking at the 2018–19 and working our way down to the year after, Coronato has been a point per game player overall. In each of the three years he has put up almost the same number of goals and assists, demonstrating a pretty solid and consistent offensive game. He doesn’t trend too far towards being a pure scorer or a pure playmaker—he just does both very well.
2020–21 is where his numbers truly really pop out. Coronato really established himself as an impressive goal scorer in his draft year, more than doubling his goal total from the year prior. He put up just a casual 48 (!!!) goals and added 37 assists in just 51 games.
To put this in perspective, he led the entire USHL in goals and outscored second place by 16 tallies, he finished second in points and was 15 ahead of third place, and he led all 18-year-olds in every scoring category. Coronato is the best USHL player in the draft, and the Steel are known to produce first-round talents.
Matthew Coronato’s strengths
Let’s address the obvious first. His shot is ridiculous. It was no fluke that he scored 48 goals. Watch here as he gives the goalie no chance to stop his wrist shot.
Here he is again, really showing off his quick release:
Coronato just has great offensive instincts overall. He might be somewhat on the smaller side, but he is not afraid to put himself in a vulnerable positions to set up a play for his teammates. On top of that, he can read a play to determine which pass will generate the most dangerous scoring chance. Watch him demonstrate these skills here.
Here he is again showing his passing ability:
He’s definitely more of an offensive player, but don’t mistake that for a poor defensive game. Coronato is defensively responsible in all three zones and has demonstrated strong two-way ability throughout the past season. He has a continuous motor and this helps him challenge his opponents through backchecking, cutting off passing lanes, and during puck battles. If he generates a turnover, watch out for him to score off the rush and make his defenders pay.
Matthew Coronato’s areas of improvement
Coronato can demonstrate good speed when skating up the ice, however, there are some aspects of his skating which could be improved upon. His lateral movement and overall mobility with the puck are somewhat of a weakness in his game. He also has a tendency to be caught flat footed which allows some players to get by him.
If Coronato can improve his overall mobility on his skates, he will truly become a dynamic player, a constant offensive threat, and would even improve his defensive game as well.
Outside of that, there are no glaring weaknesses in his game. Of course, it would serve him well to get stronger and put on weight, but that will come as he grows and develops.
Fit with the Flames
A pure goal scorer who has a lethal shot? Yes please. I don’t think you can ever go wrong if there is a player like that in your system. Especially with many of the prior top players in the Flames’ prospect system graduating to the NHL, adding a player like this will do nothing but increase the quality of the prospect pool at the absolute worst.
As Coronato is ranked at 24th on the TWC rankings, it’s highly unlikely that we’ll see the Flames reach for him at 12th overall. However, it is possible that he slides down in the draft to the second round. If that occurs, I don’t see why the Flames wouldn’t select him.
Brad Treviling has shown that he isn’t shy of trading down in the draft as well, he just did this last year en route to acquiring Connor Zary, Jeremie Poirier, and Jake Boltmann. If he decides to do the same this year, Coronato will likely be on the board just waiting for the Flames to call his name.
Coronato had an excellent season in the USHL and established himself as one of the best, if not the best goal scorer in this draft. At 5’10” and 183 pounds, Coronato’s smaller frame didn’t stop him from being a legit threat to score on every single shift.
He has an incredible shot but is also able to showcase his passing abilities and his overall offensive instincts. He does need to work on his mobility and overall skating to take that next step, however. This will allow him to work on his acceleration, agility and just become more dynamic overall on the ice. Coronato is committed to the Harvard Crimson in the NCAA next season.
Projection: Middle-six scoring forward
Previously: William Eklund, Dylan Guenther, Cole Sillinger, Jesper Wallstedt, Kent Johnson, Simon Robertsson, Fabian Lysell, Aatu Räty, Carson Lambos, Simon Edvinsson, Chaz Lucius, Mason McTavish, Brennan Othmann, Corson Ceulemans, Francesco Pinelli, Oskar Olausson, Xavier Bourgault, Zachary L’Heureux
Featured image created with Venngage.