Feb 18, 2014, 8:34 PM EDT
New Jersey Devils forward prospect Stefan Matteau got a taste of NHL life last season when he played 17 games.
After being sent back to junior hockey last season (where things got a bit tumultuous), he’s spending this season in the AHL with the Albany Devils and it’s doing him a lot of good as Randy Miller of NJ.com shares.
“At the beginning of the year, I had to have a little chat with him about playing on the perimeter and trying to play a skill game,” said Albany coach Rick Kowalsky. “When he’s on his game, he’s tough to get the puck off of down low. And when he goes to the net, he’s just a force. It’s just a matter of doing it all the time and translating that to the next level.”
Matteau playing in the AHL instead of juniors was a bit of a curious move on the Devils’ part, but so far things are working out for the nearly 20-year-old forward. He has nine goals and 19 points with Albany this season to go along with 52 penalty minutes.
Learning to play the pro game on the fly the way he has the past two seasons will have its share of ups and downs. Devils management hopes it turns Matteau into one of the top power forwards in the league.
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