The second half of the 2014-15 NCAA Hockey season was in full swing in January. It was a month that featured some excellent performances and fantastic finishes. Hockey’s Future looks back at some of the more memorable moments created by NHL prospects competing in D1 hockey. Unless otherwise noted, all stats are current as of Jan. 31. Read more»
On the ice, Nick Mattson has a patient, mature defensive game. Off the ice, Mattson is baby-faced and talks a mile a minute — so fast that he skips words along the way. It’s such a contrast that it’s hard to meld the two together.
Opinions of Mattson vary almost as much as these two sides of him. He may not go high in the 2010 NHL draft because he doesn’t excel at either putting up points (just 19 in 51 games this year) or the physical game. He’s average in size at 6’1, 190, and equally good both ways, and that doesn’t sell as well.
Late developers, who come into the spotlight only in their draft year, are often favored over those who developed early as well. Mattson was good at 15, enough to be invited to the US National Development Team Program. But Mattson, who turned 18 in October, also improved a lot this season, something those who only watched him in the fall or winter might have missed.
"I think as the season’s progressed, Nick’s definitely gotten better and better," Indiana Ice GM and coach Jeff Blashill said in late March. "He started a little bit slow, he got hurt twice during the year (hip and facial fracture). That kind of knocked him back a little bit. Now I think he’s really starting to come and hopefully his best hockey will be down the stretch in the playoff run."
Mattson said there were ups and downs to the season, but what he feels he’s improved on the most this year is rounding out his game. Read more»