2023 NHL Draft Prospect Profile: Matthew Mania

Natalie Shaver/OHL Images

The Scouting Report:

Matthew Mania from Brandon, Florida, born on January 11th, 2005, is a right-shot defensive prospect in the 2023 NHL entry draft. Honestly, Matthew Mania has the coolest name and best marketing opportunity in the 2023 NHL draft class. I can already picture the MatthewMania tee shirts being printed in that Hulkamania style. Anyways, enough about the name. Currently a defenseman for the Sudbury Wolves, Matthew Mania has proven to be a force to be reckoned with. Mania is lethal offensively, incredibly sound defensively, moves the puck exceptionally well, uses his body physically, and will cave your face in if needed. Listed at 6’0″ and 187 pounds, Matthew Mania should be a hot commodity come draft day.

Ranked #46 by Inside The Rink
Ranked #70 by NHL Central Scouting (NA Skaters)
Ranked #68 by Daily Faceoff
Ranked #59 by Dobber Prospects

Conrad Jack of Inside the Rink has Matthew Mania projected at 98th overall.

While I don’t see Matthew Mania falling out of the third round, he plays a game that you can find in more physically mature players. However, teams that are building into the future would be ready to inject Mania’s energy into their future lineup.

Diving Deeper:

We’ve just barely scratched the surface of Matthew Mania’s attributes, I want to take a deeper dive into Mania’s attributes and areas for improvement.

Skating:

When I am not talking about how cool Matthew Mania’s name is, I’m talking about how great his skating is. Matthew Mania has the potential to be an elite two-way defenseman that is a threat whenever he steps on the ice. He isn’t a shutdown defenseman, but he definitely can become a solid-in-your-face player. Mania’s skating compliments his defensive transitions where he is highly composed and physically engaged in the rush. There are areas for improvement, but you can say that about every single prospect that is eligible to be drafted in any draft year.

“For reasons other than having the best name in the draft, Matthew Mania of the Sudbury Wolves is just so much fun. One of the premier transition defensemen in this draft, Mania uses his great puckhandling posture, quick feet and hands, and constantly swivelling head to gain bluelines and make defenders look silly. Mania’s gap control is an issue, but as an electric, 6’0 right-hander who’s 5th among draft-eligible D-men in points, his development could be one to watch”

Luke Sweeney – Dobber Prospects – April 2023.

Areas for Improvement:

There are defensemen that have incredible gap control, like Aaron Ekblad of the Florida Panthers, and then there are players who struggle with gap control. This is Matthew Mania’s biggest flaw when you consider everything. He often gets caught too close to where the centermen should be positioned, creating too much space between himself and the boards. This creates an incredibly hard situation, especially if the opposing player has faster foot speed than the defender. This is definitely something coaches will work on with Matthew Mania, his positioning and gap control.

Related Story: 2023 NHL Draft – Nashville

On-Ice Abilities:

Matthew Mania causes chaos when he steps on the ice. He plays a highly physical game that certainly is a want on all teams, there is also a demand for a physical right-shot defenseman in the NHL. Matthew Mania could almost certainly find himself being drafted higher to a team that needs a physical right-shot defenseman.

Final Thoughts:

Matthew Mania, physical two-way defenseman, cool name, I don’t really have to say anymore. He’s a great hockey player who will be a valuable second-pairing defenseman on any NHL team. Mania’s development may take a few years, but once it clicks, look out for Matthew Mania.

Stats via Elite Prospects
Highlights via MyNHLDraft.com

Conrad Jack

Conrad Jack is a lifelong hockey fan who is now actively writing for Inside The Rink covering primarily the Winnipeg Jets and the entire NHL second. He also covers the latest NHL News & Rumors, the NHL Entry Draft, and so much more for Inside The Rink.

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