By Eldon MacDonald
48. Matthew Nieto - “Mr. Game Breaker” - LW - USA
Vitals: Size - 5’11”, 183 lb.; Shoots left; Born 5-Nov-92 - Long Beach, CA
Team: Boston University, Hockey East
2010-11: Stats: 39-10-13-23-16-(-1)
42 - The Hockey News per TSN
43 - The Scouting Report's Top 100 Skaters
44 - Cory Pronman's Top 100
44 - Kirk Luedeke's Top 50
48 - E-Mac's 2011 NHL Entry Draft Top 120
53 - Bob MacKenzie's June Poll of Scouts
53 - hfboards Readers’ Poll
53 - Future Considerations Final Rankings
54 - NHL Central Scouting's Final Rankings (43rd North American skater)
54 - Christopher Ralph's Top 210
56 - ISS per TSN
47 - San Jose Sharks
What type of player is Matthew Nieto??? The first phrase that comes to mind is “game breaker”. He has an explosion in his skating like a quarter horse out of the starting gate. And he has a passing gear that you only find in cars you can’t afford. He also has the vision, the agility and the hands to make those moves that make defenders look silly. In addition, he competes hard for the puck and is money around the net.
What are the downsides to Matthew Nieto??? First, he is only of modest size and showed some of the effects of that in adjusting to College Hockey. Second, he has consistency and compete issues away from the puck so he either makes it as top 6 or not at all - game breaker or heart breaker, that is the question.
Where will Matthew Nieto go in the draft??? I am betting that more than one team will agree with me and take this guy as a game breaker - early to mid second.