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Matteau puts QMJHL incident behind him, looks to training camp

Jul 17, 2013, 9:58 AM EDT

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Stefan Matteau’s 2012-13 campaign was memorable for a lot of different reasons, but it ended in an unusual way when QMJHL Blainville-Boisbriand released him during the playoffs and then traded his rights.

His father, former NHLer Stephane Matteau, who was an assistant coach with the squad, revealed that his son got into a heated discussion with head coach Jean-Francois Houle after being benched. Stephane felt that Stefan made “a mistake,” but he still thinks the QMJHL team took things too far by releasing him.

Regardless, the younger Matteau has moved past that incident.

“There’s not much to say,” Matteau told the Bergen Record. “It was just not the best fit (in Blainville-Boisbriand) and I just want to move past it and not go into detail about it. I’m just focused on this week, this summer and I want to make the team next year here.”

Matteau is attending the New Jersey Devils’ development camp now and that’s just one of the first steps towards what he hopes will be a successful training camp for him.

“In September, it’s going to be a whole different camp,” Matteau said. “It’s going to be with the big boys and I want to make a good impression there so I can stay next year.”

The 19-year-old forward played in 17 games with the Devils last season and got some playing time with Ilya Kovalchuk, who has since “retired” and moved to the KHL. Matteau was one of the many Devils players that was “shocked” by the decision. Still, he feels lucky to have gotten a chance to play with Kovalchuk before he left.

Kovalchuk’s departure leaves a big hole in the Devils’ lineup and it has created a potential opportunity for young forwards like Matteau. If he can’t make the NHL roster though, he’s now eligible to play in the AHL over the team that acquired his junior rights, QMJHL Rimouski.

Update: Matteau will miss the remainder of rookie camp with an injury, per

  1. Mike Williams - Jul 17, 2013 at 10:08 AM

    I liked the way he played last year but at some points he had no place being on the first line with Kovy. He most likely will play in the AHL this year, but when his time comes for the NHL, I cant see him as anything more than a 3rd liner. Lou must have liked him a lot to not give up th 29th overall pick for him.

  2. davebabychreturns - Jul 17, 2013 at 10:19 AM

    Matteau and the Devils seem like a weird fit. His dad pretty much put the nails into the coffin on their ’94 playoff run, and now if the Devils struggle this season he’s going to spend the early years of his pro career being compared to whatever top 10 pick the team will lose out on since they kept their 29th overall pick to draft him and will now have to forfeit a pick at the end of their post-Kovalchuk season.

    Obviously none of this stands in the way of him growing into an effective player for them but that’s a lot of storylines even ignoring the whole Blainville thing.

  3. yankeehawk - Jul 17, 2013 at 10:46 AM

    why put “retired” in quotation marks when referring to Kovalchuk….tell it like it is….he QUIT !!

  4. 950003cups - Jul 17, 2013 at 12:20 PM

    This Matteau kid is gonna turn out to be as big a steal as Parise was. This kid is super strong along the boards. Good at in close “garbage goals”. Good defensively. He hits like a battering ram. That was at 18 years old. You’re gonna like this kid. He’s an all around player.

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